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The Main Messages In Utopia The Giver

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Louis Lowery has created a place where there is no color, no choice; a place where individuality and freedom has been given up for sameness and security in her book The Giver. This place is thought to be in the future and is meant to be a kind of utopia where everyone follows the rules and obeys without question. There are only two people who can remember the past; The Giver and the Receiver of Memory. These 2 are the main characters in this story. The Giver is an old man the council looks to when they have a dilemma. His memories are given to the Receiver of Memory who is a twelve year old boy named Jonas. As Jonas gains more memories, he learns about good things like colors and love but also the bad things like war, hate, and pain. As he receives memories, he learns more about the flaws of his apparent “perfect’ society.

One of the most important themes in The Giver is the significance of memory. Lowry realized that without memory, there is no pain. For if you can’t remember the pain, you may as well not have felt it. If you can’t remember what hurt you, you can’t feel regret or grief from the memory. At some point in the past, the community wanted to get rid of pain from their lives. The consequence? Give up every single memory of their original way of life. In doing this they forgot all of the pain and suffering of history. Unfortunately, this also resulted in people not wanting to do activities and have relationships in fear that would end up unhappy or disdainful. But giving up their memories came with a price; forgetting any nostalgia or happy memories. Giving themselves a clean slate made them give up everything in order to live in peace and harmony.

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In the community, no one made choices. Any and all choice the community could have had was relinquished in the past when Sameness was chosen. Without choice, no one suffers from mistakes, but they also don’t get to experience the happiness that comes with the good choices. When the community members gave up freedom they were guaranteed a stable, painless life. Though this might seem good at first, if the reader were to give up freedom, we have to think about the cons of it too. Having your choices made for you? No excitement in your life? Learning what was taught to you and nothing more? Not being about to learn from mistakes? It would be pretty horrible. When Jonas discovers memory, he realizes that choice is essential to happiness. He learns that decisions have power. The first genuine choice he makes is when he escapes from the community and takes Gabriel with him. When he makes his decision, he gives pleasure and pain to the people he leaves behind, and gives the opportunity of choice back to the community.

Throughout The Giver, Lowis attempts to show the reader the dangers that exist when people go for consistency over freedom. In the past the community intended to create an ideal society, a utopia. They believed that by protecting the citizens from making wrong choices, to give them no choices at all, the community would be safe. Yet, it turned out badly and people became controlled and manipulated. Now, the expression ‘love’ is an empty word they wished were real. For instance in Chapter 16, Jonas asks his parents if they love him, his mother scolds him for using imprecise language. She says that ‘love’ is ‘a very generalized word, so meaningless that it’s become almost obsolete.’

In conclusion memories are a symbol of hope. The Giver is able to send memories to Jonas of the way the community was before Sameness. Through these memories, Jonas learns real human emotions. This gives him hope for a better life, for himself and for his people. He learns memory has power and the freedom that comes with it.

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The Main Messages In Utopia The Giver. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
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