Life is a very valuable asset, but when lived on someone else’s terms its nothing but a compromise. The seemingly perfect image of Utopia which combines happiness and honesty with purity, very often leads in forming a dystopian environment. The shrewd discrepancy of Utopia is presented in both the novel ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry and the film ‘The Truman Show’ directed by Peter Weir. Both stories depict a perfect community, perfect people, perfect life, perfect world, and a perfect lie. These perfect worlds may appear to shield its inhabitants from evil and on the other hand appear to give individuals no rights of their own. By comparing and contrasting the novel ‘The Giver’ and the film ‘The Truman Show’, it can be derived that both the main characters become anti-utopian to expose the seedy underbelly of their Utopian environment which constructs a delusional image of reality, seizes the pleasures in their lives and portrays a loss of freedom.
One of the major differences between the film and the novel is the depiction of the delusional image of reality. However, it still manages to bring forth the dystopian image of both their Utopian societies. In The Truman Show, life is a real life play in an environment that provides comfortable lifestyle and happiness at the cost of reality. The producer of The Truman Show, Christof states, “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented”. This message is the underlying theme in the story and as such, will foreshadow Truman’s acceptance of a delusional reality in the film. Meanwhile, in the film everyone except for Truman is acting and not living an authentic life. There is no sense of “real”; no real affinity, no secrecy, and no faith, all of which Truman is blindly unaware. The true delusional reality of his world is revealed at the end when he questions Christof about nothing being real in his life and Christof replies,
You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch. There is no more truth out there, than there is in the world I created for you. The same lies, the same deceit. But in my world you have to fear nothing (The Truman Show).
On the contrary, in the novel ‘The Giver’ life is real. Both the main character, Jonas and the rest of the population leads the life of an ordinary person with regular daily routines. In Jonas’s community, control is dictated by The Giver. For example, except for The Giver no one else can see colour as the society intended on achieving “sameness”. The Giver himself states, “Our people made that choice to go to sameness. We relinquished colour when we relinquished sunshine and did away with differences” (Lowry, 95). This illustrates that The Giver is portraying a vague reality by making people believe that everyone will attain “sameness”, only if they do not see any colour.
Truman was told that he lived in a city called Seahaven, but in reality he lived inside a film set which was in the shape of a dome designed by...