In the dystopian literature novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, the main character, Jonas, lives in a society where people have been robbed of all their choices and their emotions. Everyone looks similar and is manipulated to act similarly. Sameness is one of the most valued features of the community.
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Citizens are released if they violate any expectations of the community based on many rules and regulations. Jonas community is governed by a body of people called Elders. Elders enforce the rules and determine who lives or dies. The setting of the novel creates a depressing mood for the reader as they discover the ways in which Jonas suffers from his heightened feelings and emotions that isolate him from the entire community. As a result, the citizens of the community are significantly affected by certain aspects of setting in the story including a series of laws and beliefs.
One critical aspect of Jonas community is that the citizens cannot obtain books in their dwelling except for the directory, a dictionary, and a book of rules. Jonas first realizes any existence of other books when he arrives for his first day of training in the Recieverr’s room. He notices this almost immediately because it appeared to be the most conspicuous difference in comparison to his dwelling. At this point of the story, Jonas is already beginning to discover the secrets of the community that is hidden from the public. The narrator describes Jonas thoughts the moment he is introduced to the Receivers room, The books in his dwelling were the only books Jonas had ever seen. He had never known that other books existed He couldnt imagine what the thousands of pages contained (74). By concealing all other books, knowledge and memories are hidden from everyone else because they are often disturbing, uncomfortable truths that everyone would rather forget. Books allow new ideas which often affect changes. The society in which Jonas lives in is one that strives for sameness in hope of eliminating conflicts. Prohibiting the possession of other books limits their ability to think of new ideas and to be creative. Therefore, the limitation to access books causes a deficiency of love, war, pain, fear, and pleasure which are essential to a meaningful life. The absence of fictional and nonfictional books in their community restrain the citizens from realizing that they live in a world that is far from perfect and should instead,
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