The Giver, by Lois Lowry, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, and Logan's Run, by William F. Nolan

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, and Logan's Run, by William F. Nolan

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Utopia seems like a wonderful idea where everything is perfect and no one suffers. Three stories address this topic and show how even the best ideas have their downside. The Giver tells of a society where everything is the same and no one has to worry about making a wrong decision. Fahrenheit 451 tells of a society that bans book in the interest of preventing unhappiness. The society in Logan's Run is full of pleasure but only for 30 years. In practice though, these utopias present each of the protagonists with a problem where they question how perfect their perfect worlds really is.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry, tells of a society where choices are made by the state in order to create sameness. This is done to prevent unhappiness and to ensure that people don't become jealous or sad about differences. For example children at each age receive the same gift (p.15) and have ceremonies to recognize these changes in age. Families are created when a spouse is assigned and the couple applies for children through a birthmother.
Jonas, the protagonist, is assigned the job of holding memories for the community. This is so that not everyone has to experience sad or painful memories. The Giver's job is to transmit these memories to Jonas and, in doing so, reveals the wonders of love, and family, and pain, and sorrow to this young boy. Jonas begins to resent the rules of sameness and wants to share these joys with his community. After receiving his first memory, Jonas says, "I wish we had those things, still." (p. 84)
In the end, Jonas, with the help of The Giver, escapes from the community with an infant new-child at risk of being killed (released) and seeks out a life full of feeling and love. While he does get away, we don't know exactly w...


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...Man in Logan's Run told Logan and Jessica about love and families just as The Giver shared memories with Jonas about just the same thing.
The utopian communities Logan and Jonas inhabit are both controlled by the state. Logan's world is run completely by machines that manage births and deaths, food supply, and recreation. Jonas's world is managed by an extensive set of rules that spell out exactly what citizens do throughout their lives. For both these protagonists, the community is a safe haven and the concept of "outside" for Logan, and "Elsewhere" for Jonas are worrisome. The state in both of these communities regulate death but have sugar-coated the idea through vague language or ceremonies that promise rebirth. Logan and Jonas begin to see through the deception and rebel against it by opposing the rules and escaping from what seemed to be perfect communities.

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