Parallels In Our World and the World of The Giver
The story in The Giver by Lois Lowry takes place in a community that is not normal. People cannot see color, it is an offense for somebody to touch others, and the community assigns people jobs and children. This unnamed community shown through Jonas’ eye, the main character in this novel, is a perfect society. There is no war, crime, and hunger. Most readers might take it for granted that the community in The Giver differs from the real society. However, there are several affinities between the society in present day and that in this fiction: estrangement of elderly people, suffering of surrogate mothers, and wanting of euthanasia.
The first similarity is that elderly people are left out of the society. In the novel, the elderly cannot have a family. They live in the House of the Old because they are separated from the society. All the people are getting older and weaker without exception, so it is hard for them to live without family. Nonetheless, the society isolates the elderly. “The Old were sitting quietly, some visiting and talking with one another, others doing handwork and simple crafts. A few were asleep” (p. 28). Likewise, in the modern society, elderly people are lonely. Some avoid taking care of their parents suffering from disease like Alzheimer. The elderly are apt to be easily depressed, and this depression can be triggered by the deaths of their spouses, relatives, and friends or by financial worries. Therefore, old people need constant care and their family’s affection. However, due to hectic lifestyle of current society, many elderly people live alone or in care center without their family.
Another similarity can be found in the surrogate mothers’ suffering from psychological and physical pain. In The Giver, the surrogate mothers are termed as Birthmothers. That job has very little honor in this community. “Three years, Three births and that’s all. After that they are Laborers for the rest of their adult lives, until the day that they enter the House of the Old… The Birthmothers never even get to see new children” (p. 22). Today, some women decide to become surrogate mothers of other women’s babies because of several reasons, such as sympathy for the couples who cannot have children of their own or financial reason. However, to carry other women’s children gives surrogate...