"Sameness" is the name given to the ideology practiced by the leaders of Jonas's community in its desire to create a utopian society. The principle essentially involves a system of covert oppression in which citizens are indoctrinated into believing that they are all the same and, therefore, equal. The purpose is to establish, through conformity, a peaceful and stable civilization that is free from all man's iniquities. The leaders believe that removing the individual's free will avoids the act of making wrong decisions. Furthermore, such a system is supposed to prevent prejudice, crime, and many other risks to ensure peace and harmony. For the system to succeed, the Elders have created rules that must be respected and strictly adhered to.
The Elders are the overseers in this society. They are responsible for ensuring that every member of society maintains the principles adopted when Sameness was introduced. The ideology has been inculcated into society's consciousness through a system of genetic propaganda, manipulation, and brainwashing. To guarantee Sameness, the Elders control every aspect of each citizen's entire existence. There is no room for individuality, and emotions are suppressed through the compulsory use of drugs. When Jonas, for example, develops "stirrings," he is compelled to take pills regularly to quell what he feels. The education system propagates and encourages Sameness, and citizens of every age are carefully monitored and publicly admonished if they should break a rule or disobey an instruction.
Advanced medical technology has enabled the rulers to suppress almost all of the citizens' natural and instinctual abilities. They cannot, for example, distinguish color or feel passion. Furthermore, extensive and consistent brainwashing has turned the population into unquestioning, obedient servants who follow every rule and obey, to the letter, every instruction. There is no freedom of choice. Citizens' lives are so regulated they do not even prepare their meals—these are delivered to their living quarters and everyone, presumably, follows the same diet. There are no relatives outside the nuclear family since the Elders determine spousal relationships and family constructs. Children are not biologically related to their parents or their siblings and never discover who their actual parents are. The Elders have developed a system whereby birth mothers are appointed in their roles. The Elders seem to have a supply of genetically engineered sperm cells (and probably ova too) that are used for conception. After birth, the infants are removed and taken care of in nurturing centers. The newborns are kept there until they are allocated to parents who qualify.
Furthermore, Sameness requires that language is used as a tool to manipulate and suppress. Citizens are encouraged to use language that does not convey deep feelings and "correctness of language" is consistently taught. Language must always be couched in neutral terms and should not be offensive or cynical. The use of a wrong word or phrase may result in admonition or sanction. References to death are couched in euphemistic phrases such as "going Elsewhere." Citizens who constantly break the rules, overstep the boundaries, or who do not fit in are "released." Jonas later learns that release means execution by lethal injection when he witnesses his father "releasing" a twin. It is ironic that in a society where everyone is purportedly equal, weaker twins are executed.
Further irony lies in the fact that Jonas and the Giver, who do not entirely fit the mold, are given the complicated task of keeping society's memories because of their extraordinary abilities, instead of being executed. The Elders have succeeded in suppressing all memory to ensure that citizens are not reminded of the past and cannot, therefore, make any comparisons to their current situation.
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“SAMENESS” IN THE GIVER What would it feel like living in a world which everyone is same and the life is monotone? In “The Giver”,written by Lois Lowry,there’s a community based on perfection and the citizens who have strict and ethic rules to prevent their community from becoming unethical and unequal. Lowry conveyed her ideas both with in advantages and disadvantages,and the diversity which citizens in the community have lost. To begin with,the main advantage which citizens have is the relief of not making any choices about their future.
In Lowry’s community, future jobs for all who became 12,have already chosen by elders,and anounced in the Ceremony of Twelve. Eventhough children who are unsuccesfull in their school has their jobs guaranteed. Because of the guaranteed future,the citizens never have economical issues,so the community don’t have a value called “money”. Similarly to The Ceremony of Twelve,the citizens who are 9 years old also have a special ceremony,which every children receive a bike. Lowry emphasized that if no one is equal and have same properties,there could be war or argument which is obviously against “perfection. . On the other hand,”sameness” also has some disadvantages in the community which is “Perfect”. There are so many unknown values. Every citizen in the community is same-looking,and have a routine life just because they don’t know what a difference is. There is no color to seperate their looks from each other,and no feelings to be aware of badness of the routine life they’re living. In the novel,all the citizens must take pills to prevent their stirrings,but actually no one does know what a “stirring” is,and eventhough no one questions about it because there are no feelings.
Samelike to those,the citizens never have random activities or do things which delays their daily routine. Everyone living in this community has a daily routine and never change the routine and that’s one of the strongest examples for sameness in the community. Likewise,In the community,every family unit must have two children according to the rules and one of them must be male when the other is female. The citizens aren’t aware of how inappropriate rule it is because they never judge and question just as because of the sameness in the community.
Accordingly to the community in The Giver, citizens have lost their diversity which prevents being same. Riding the same bikes,wearing the same clothes,and speaking the same language,even the same words, can’t be acceptable for our world. In this community,no one has a private life,no one has a right to lie,and even all the doors are unlocked except The Giver’s door. In the beginning of the novel,the reader influences about the perfection of the community,but throughout the story,Lowry shows that the community which is based on Perfection is not perfect at all.
Actually,it’s a community which is based on strict rules just to prevent people from feelings,colors,and all the values which a human must have tasted at least once during their life times. Diversity is a very important value for humans,and a community can’t be perfect without it. In “The Giver”, written by Lois Lowry, one of the major theme’s is “sameness”, which effects very deeply the life of citizens in the community based on perfection. Sameness in somewhere just as this community, can either cause disadvantages or advantages at the same time, also including the loss of diversity. Lal Saracoglu 9F
Author: Brandon Johnson
Essay About the Giver ‘Sameness’
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