The Giver, by Lois Lowry

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Dystopian literature brings warning to the modern world and allows the audience to experience a new perception of life. The 1993 novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, fits into the dystopian genre because it makes judgment about modern society. She inscribed her novel “For all the children to whom we entrust the future”, which serves as a hope for a better future (Franklin). She targets the younger generation because they are the future. In Lowry’s novel, The Giver, Lowry’s perspective on modern society is that it tends to stay within its comfort zone, which creates limitations in life. The dystopian characteristics of the novel, importance of memory, the history surrounding the novel, and Lowry’s personal background all convey the notion that modern society should freedom bestowed it and to fully appreciate life in itself; society tends to take life’s freedoms for granted.

Lowry writes The Giver in the dystopian genre to convey a worst-case scenario as to how modern society functions. A dystopia is an “illusion of a perfect society” under some form of control which makes criticism about a “societal norm” (Wright). Characteristics of a dystopian include restricted freedoms, society is under constant surveillance, and the citizens live in a dehumanized state and conform to uniform expectations (Wright). In The Giver, the community functions as a dystopian because everyone in the community conforms to the same rules and expectations. One would think that a community living with set rules and expectations would be better off, but in reality, it only limits what life has to offer. Instead, the community in the novel is a dystopian disguised as a utopian, and this is proven to the audience by the protagonist, Jonas. Jonas is just a norma...

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Lowry, Lois. "Newbery Medal Acceptance." The Horn Book Magazine 70.4 (July-Aug. 1994): 414-422. Rpt. in Children's Literature Review. Ed. Linda R. Andres. Vol. 46. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. New York, NY: Dell Laurel-Leaf, 1993. Print

Rankin, Aidan. “The repressive openness of political correctness.” Contemporary Review 282.1644 (2003): 33+. Literature resource Center. Web. 15 Feb. 2011.

“The Giver.” Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen and Kevin S. Hile. Vol. 3. Detroit, MI: Gale Research,1998. 167-81. Print.

Wright, Juntus. “Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics.” Read Write Think. NCTE, 2011. Web. 25 Jan. 2011
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