Alicia Orellana

Ms. McLean

English 1 CP

5 May 2011

The Givers' Society Compared to Our Own



Imagine what our society would be like in thirty years if our economy keeps getting worse. Skyrocketing food and real estate prices would leave many starving and homeless. Gas would be ridiculously expensive because of its scarcity. Millions would have no job, or be underemployed. Foreclosures and bankruptcy would cause people to abandon their animals, and possibly even their children. Healthcare would be denied, leading to increased death. Tensions would rise, leading to domestic abuse, addictions, divorce, and crime. This ugly world is one unknown by those in Lois Lowry's futuristic novel, The Giver. Jonas, twelve, lives in a community which has had to make draconian choices and sacrifices to solve our economic meltdown. Unfortunately, these choices are dramatic and harmful; better solutions can be found.
The Givers' society makes enormous changes to our economic system in order to survive. The largest of these changes being that they have foregone money. They have no need of it. They do not go out and shop; there are not even stores where Jonas lives. The clothes are assigned, and their meals are delivered to them daily. Even the jobs they have are assigned to adults when they are twelve, and that is when they begin training for their futures. The houses they lives in are assigned, their spouses, if they choose to have one, are assigned. Couples have to sign up to get a child, and they can only have two, and boy and a girl. Children do not have birthdays, every child born stays at a child birth facility, and people, such as Jonas' father, take care of the infants until December, when the child gets assigned to parents. Every person in this community has a home, a job, a spouse, and at least one child. And everybody over the age of nine, has a bicycle. There are no cars, only the assigned bicycle, which I think is one of the few good things about this community.


Orellana: 2


In circumstances such as these, there would be no mortgages, car payments, obscene gas prices, no technology over-load. There would be no domestic disputes, no straying spouses, no pollution, no richer or poorer idiocy. But the government in The Givers' society takes away all individualism. Once a person reaches puberty, they are given a medicine to take daily to repress sexuality. They must be with a person of the opposite gender; you would not be allowed to be gay. You have to wear the exact same clothes as everybody else your age. You can not explore job options, or consider a higher education, you would not even be able to see in color in this world. This does not much affect the economy, but it can affect a person so deeply. But the people who live it don't even know what they are denied. For generations, it has been trained out of people to question, to express themselves, to be human. It is considered wrong to question the elders, the law-makers; the oppressors. If they do question, they are Released, which is the ultra-fine new word for euthanasia.
This community may have solved the worlds money conflicts, but it also takes so much of the world away from its residents. With their monetary system, this world of Jonas' is far better then out own, it solves everything. There is no abandonment, crime, drug problems, gas prices, real estate, hunger, and homelessness. But with the price of freedom, is it worth it? It takes away our constitutional rights, of freedom of expression, and the right to worship, love, speak and write, and even to procreate.There are so many other ways to help our economy, and this book shows us a prime example of what could happen with over-contol over moneial systems, and then going over board on 'helping'.