Utopia seems like a wonderful idea where everything is perfect and no one suffers. Three stories address this topic and show how even the best ideas have their downside. The Giver tells of a society where everything is the same and no one has to worry about making a wrong decision. Fahrenheit 451 tells of a society that bans book in the interest of preventing unhappiness. The society in Logan's Run is full of pleasure but only for 30 years. In practice though, these utopias present each of the protagonists with a problem where they question how perfect their perfect worlds really is.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry, tells of a society where choices are made by the state in order to create sameness. This is done to prevent unhappiness and to ensure that people don't become jealous or sad about differences. For example children at each age receive the same gift (p.15) and have ceremonies to recognize these changes in age. Families are created when a spouse is assigned and the couple applies for children through a birthmother.
Jonas, the protagonist, is assigned the job of holding memories for the community. This is so that not everyone has to experience sad or painful memories. The Giver's job is to transmit these memories to Jonas and, in doing so, reveals the wonders of love, and family, and pain, and sorrow to this young boy. Jonas begins to resent the rules of sameness and wants to share these joys with his community. After receiving his first memory, Jonas says, "I wish we had those things, still." (p. 84)
In the end, Jonas, with the help of The Giver, escapes from the community with an infant new-child at risk of being killed (released) and seeks out a life full of feeling and love. While he does get away, we don't know exactly what happens to Jonas as the story's ending is uncertain.
The film, "Logan's Run" takes place in the 23rd century where computers provide all of life's necessities freeing humans to lead a life full of pleasurable pursuits. Throughout their life, a crystal embedded in their palms changes colour to indicate their age. After 30 years of care-free living, when the crystal starts to flash, citizens are called to Carousel where they have a chance at "renewal" which is the idea of being reborn. Some are not convinced that renewal is true and believe that people are simply killed.
Logan, the protagonist, is a "sandman" whose job is to catch and eliminate people who try to run from Carousel. Logan is commanded by the computers to seek out where the runners go and destroy their sanctuary. With the help of Jessica, a younger friend, he infiltrates the...