Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver, shows that depriving people of certain knowledge is a way of dehumanizing and endangering them. People following rules blindly appeared multiple times in this book. It is extremely visible in the community, and with characters such as Jonas and Jonas’s father. In The Giver, following rules aimlessly does not always lead you down the right path.
Jonas’s parents gave him a pill to stop his Stirrings without giving him an explanation as to why he was taking a pill. When Jonas asks why he has to take a pill, his parents essentially say that he just has to. They do not seem to know why he has to take the pill either. Jonas’s parents don’t even explain what his dream was. They just call it the “Stirrings” without giving Jonas a satisfactory explanation on what they are and why he has to stop them. When Jonas decides to stop taking the pill, nothing bad happens. He’s confused about why he had to take the pill in the first place. He liked the feelings his “Stirrings” gave him, and he didn’t see anything wrong with them. Since Jonas is the Receiver, he knows what’s right and what’s wrong. The other people in the community, however, cannot.
Father is a nurturer and had to Release a twin. He couldn’t comprehend that what he was doing was wrong. Father just Releases the child in a conventional routine and doesn’t even think about what he’s doing. He doesn’t ask where the child goes after he unconsciously puts it down the chute. I’m assuming since Jonas’s father has been a nurturer for a while, he’s probably executed multiple babies without a full understanding of what he was doing. Father has never second-guessed the system, so he never asked why he was doing this.
The residents of the community have never questioned their right to choose. They never ask why they can’t choose because they just follow The Elders blindly. They don’t question because they have been trained for their whole lives not to. I feel that the people of the community do not like things being Also, they don’t have the capacity to understand when they are doing something wrong. The people in the community know about Release, but they don’t exactly know what it is. They guessed it meant going somewhere else, but they never asked where they go, or how they get there.
In The Giver, Lois Lowry shows that trying to robotize people by stipping memories from them can be dangerous and risky. This book shows how it can deprive people of living full lives. From Jonas not knowing why he has to take a pill, and Father unknowingly murdering children, Lowry shows that since the community is so commanded, the citizens don’t know how to ask questions. So, following rules blindly is not always the best way to live life.
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