In today’s society, we are exposed to many different ways to be uniquely ourselves. Our lives are full of choices and opportunities and we alone are in charge. We may succumb to the limitations and influences of other people, but the final decision rests on our shoulders. Imagine how different life would be if we didn’t even know that we had these choices and opportunities; if everything was the same for everyone, no one was unique. In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Jonas, along with everyone else in the community, didn’t have a unique identity due to their lack of opportunities to make their own choices.
“The decision was made long before my time or yours.” This quote (on page 113) proves that everything that was happening had been that way for eons. There are many different rules that they had to follow, from being polite to when you could ride a bike. “They said committee members would become Elders by the time the rule change was made.” This quote (located on page 14) shows how extremely rigid the rules are. Everyone was treated the same and no one thought anything about it because they simply didn’t know. Their whole entire lives were run by the same set of rules and regulations that had been placed who knows how long ago.
From the time they were born, to the time they were “released”, their choices were made for them and their opinions were silenced. There were no colors, no memories, no true emotions, no weather, no varying scenery, and no choices. Their name, family, occupation, retirement age, and lifespan were all laid out for them. “The life where nothing was unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual.” (Page 165) The committee slowly faded all the bad things in life away, but they also took out personality, the real definition of joy, and the chance to make mistakes.
Jonas and his community were just beings, not real people. If one of them was released, there would be a replacement. They held no real importance, no distinct character. They didn’t really even know, because it had been like that for long before they were born. And by the time a rule was changed, they’d have been released and someone would’ve already come in to replace them. Everything was expected, convenient, and usual.