Dystopian literature brings warning to the modern world and allows the audience to experience a new perception of life. The 1993 novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, fits into the dystopian genre because it makes judgment about modern society. She inscribed her novel “For all the children to whom we entrust the future”, which serves as a hope for a better future (Franklin). She targets the younger generation because they are the future. In Lowry’s novel, The Giver, Lowry’s perspective on modern society is that it tends to stay within its comfort zone, which creates limitations in life. The dystopian characteristics of the novel, importance of memory, the history surrounding the novel, and Lowry’s personal background all convey the notion that
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But once he begins to receive memories of the past, he begins to “feel trapped [and that] something is terribly wrong with [his] society” (Wright). Jonas no longer wants to live in conformity. His community lives in a dehumanized state with no emotion or feelings, and once Jonas begins to experience emotion through he memories, he realizes just how limited his community is. Lowry uses Jonas to prove to modern society how it should appreciate emotion; it is what makes a person a human.
In an excerpt, noted author and critic, Patty Campbell stated the following:
The name Jonas, too, is evocative – of the biblical Jonah, he who is sent by God to cry against the wickedness of Nineveh, an unwilling lone messenger with a mission that will be received with hostility. [With this] Lowry sets the mood and direction of her story (“The Giver” 180). Campbell views Jonas as an advocate for change in his community. Jonas is the light of the novel who helps the reader understand that living in an ideal community only limits an individual.
The notion of “sameness” as mentioned in the novel is an important aspect to the dystopian genre. “Sameness” is defined as “an objective correlative of the community’s strict regulation of the difference and variety in all walks of life” (“The Giver” 168). It coincides with conformity in the community. In the novel, “sameness” includes climate control and control in family life.