COMPLETELY different situation...i havent read the giver since like 7th grade, but i agree it's bullshit. we looked it up on wikipedia the other day because we were having a big debate about the giver, 1984, and brave new world.
in the giver the societies are all these little utopian villages, and nobody is supposed to know that a world exists outside of the community. the fact that there is any history of the world at all is the big secret. i never really got the whole color-blindness thing either, obviously it's a metaphor for main kid's new higher state of enlightenment. you COULD engineer a whole race of people to be color blind because it's a well-known recessive trait, so if their scientists got good enough at it they could easily make it happen, but the fact that he can suddenly see color because of his heightened sense of awareness is stupid.
1984 is different because humanity has decided that the solution to the problems of the world isnt to break society down into tiny little cells. instead, they make government huge and all-encompassing. where in the giver they rely on brainwashing and the built-in constraints of societal conditioning, the government in 1984 sort've lets people continue to live the way they always did, except they have gradually eased them into the idea of having an omnipotent, omniscient leadership class. they control people through emotional and socioeconomic means by faking wars and virtually eliminating social mobility. the idea of freedom is actually an illusion. the whole thing is a really carefully constructed warning of what could happen if a powerful universal government managed to gain control of the whole planet and adopt the most heavy-handed tenets of socialism, whilst simultaneously employing the most extreme pitfalls of capitalism/consumerism to keep the masses pacified peacefully.
i love that book, and brave new world as well...if you enjoy it as much as i did, youll start to freak out sometimes when you see or hear something in your day-to-day that makes Orwell seem like Nostradamus.
"The best way I can describe it is it felt like somebody bungee jumped off my right nut."
-Ken Griffey Jr. on what it feels like to break your groin.
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