The Reciever

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The human psyche has intrigued men and women alike for centuries and the desire of a utopian society has wondered the mind of many scholars throughout history. Nature is filled with violence, chaos, and life. Just like nature, humans are chaotic and unpredictable. Despite the negative look at humanity, humans are capable of love, compassion and wisdom. In the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry, one gets a glimpse of what a utopian society might be like. We live in an imperfect world and many have pondered how we can eradicate all that plagues humanity. The world of a utopian society would be safe and secure. What would a society like have to give up to maintaining this balance? The novel The Giver explores the importance of memory, the individual, and the relationship between pain and pleasure that play a role in society. These various themes found in the novel helps this community maintain a utopian balance.

The novel takes place in a utopian community that is part of a bigger utopian society in an unspecified time in the future. The story is told completely in first person point of view, pass tense and through the eyes of our protagonist Jonas. Within the first four lines one notices that there is major emphasis on the choice of words the protagonist uses to describe certain emotion and feelings. Jonas in this point in time describes that he feels frighten and immediately corrects himself saying, “no wrong word,” stating that that was a wrong word choice. (Lowry 1) He also states the definition of frightening and reminds himself of a time he actually felt frighten. When a pilot flew over the community; this to Jonas was a strange and unprecedented event because it was against the rules (Sparknotes Editors, Chapters 1-2).


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... Old that they cannot experience with anyone else except newborns. When the Old are no longer able to work and take part of the community they are still treated with kindness and respect. Newborns are also treated with the same tenderness and affection. The concern Jonas’s father’s and his enjoyment in playing games with the children he nurtures and his sadness among releasing the few newborns is genuine. Although close, lasting relationships with friends and family do not exist. A good quality that this community has, is that the entire community is willing to take care of children, the Old, and each other. ( Sparknotes Editors Chapters 3-4)

Works Cited

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

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Giver.” SparkNotes LLC. 2003. Web. 6 Mar. 2012.¸<>

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