Friday, October 12, 2012

The Giver: Sameness, Good or Bad?

     In Lois Lowry's The Giver Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memories and he comes to learn that when his community decided to go to sameness they were getting rid of color, emotion, and choice. At first the Giver tells him it's to "protect" them from making the wrong choices. He told him how differences and emotions played a role in the creation of war.

I thought it would be nice to take a look at the benefits of sameness and society without sameness.

       Benefits of Sameness

  • There are no fears, no war, and no pain.
  • The community does not miss the freedom of choice because they have not experienced it and they have not heard of it.
  • There is no bad weather.
  • There is no love, but there is no sadness as well.
  • Death is not publicly acknowledged, they perceive that someone released has moved to Elsewhere.
  • They do not know what lies beyond their community, they do not know the world as a whole but there is no desire to learn that which they have not been taught. Questions are rarely asked, which means there are no feelings of concern or doubt.
  • They are genetically modified by scientists, no one is that different. Since no one is that different the society is believed to get along better and more cohesively.
  • The absence of color strengthens the absence of choice, no one envy's anyone over clothes or possessions. 
  • There is no stress to make decisions and since the community makes decisions for you, you can't make the wrong choice because you have no choice.
  • With the absence of knowledge you do not know of a past, you only know what the community wants you to know and that's all you need to know in life.
  • You do not want to know more because you do not know that there is more to learn and that the community is restricting it from you.
  • There is no real family, family units are assigned by the Committee of Elders. When children grow up their parents go to live with the Childless Adults, then the House of the Old and there are no grandparents. No family love means no love lost.
  • With a Receiver of Memories you do not need to suffer from pain, anger, and sorrow.

     Benefits of Differences

  • There are fears, there is war, and there is pain and suffering. There is individual strength that allows people to conquer their fears, to fight wars, and to over come pain.
  • We have the freedom of choice and we embrace it. We will fight to keep it because it is took a long time to get and we aren't going to let it just go out the door.
  • There is bad weather, but it allows us to value the days that are better than others.
  • There is sadness, there is grief, but there is love that conquers all.
  • We acknowledge death and while we know that we aren't immortal we know that are days of life aren't limitless so we value every breath we take.
  • We know of other towns, cities, states, countries, and even planets. We know that there is so much more than our community and that's why we desire to learn more, the room for knowledge is limitless. That is why we ask so many questions, because we want answers.
  • We have made major advancements in genetic engineering but we have not been genetically modifying people, at least not that I know of. We have lots of differences, but all of our DNA is over 99% the same anyway. We know people with differences can work together cohesively and it's something that people have been trying to improve on together.
  • Color is something that is often overlooked, but we value the beauty of color and we love the freedom of choice that comes with it.
  • We make our own decisions, and we make mistakes but we try to learn from them. We try to prevent history from repeating itself.
  • We value our freedom of knowledge, we are limitless in what we can do with what we learn because we don't have books that are restricted.
  • We have grandparents, we love our families, and we grieve over our lost ones but our grief symbolizes more than just our suffering, It symbolizes how much that person felt to us, it means that their life strongly impacted yours in a positive way and that your love for them goes on. You miss them because they were there for you and you were there for them, but our own life continues and our family's bond remains strong.
  • We have no receiver of memories because we have our own memories, which are priceless.

     I appreciate our world and all of the differences that come with it. There may be suffering, but there is pride in our accomplishments. There is pride in not ourselves, not even our just our country, but as humans. We strive to do better than before, to learn and create things that we never could've imagined, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Most importantly there is hope.

Albert Einstein once said, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."


  1. Evan-this blog post just blows me away. You really write eloquently about this idea in a way that had depth and complexity. I especially like your closing and all that you said there about how we are better essentially because of our differences. You speak of limitless potential (go where no one has gone before) and I think you nailed it with that. Fantastic. You might want to post this to our class fb page and ask classmates to add their comments just to get more feedback and well-deserved exposure. ~LM

  2. I totally agree. Without Love, Blessings and all we have now in this world. "There may be suffering, but there is pride in our accomplishment." Its true, with all this war America/The world is beautiful inside and out. ;B

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