Advantages and Disadvantages of Sameness in “The Giver”

The leaders of Jonas community practiced sameness ideology with the desire to create a utopian society. Indoctrinating the citizens meant to covert oppression and ensures equality in the system. The principles meant to establish through conformity a prosperous and stable life free from man’s iniquities. Lois Lowry wrote the novel The Giver to convey the message of lost multifariousness among the people. Sameness works in favor of the people but most of the time deprives people their lives and freedom. The sameness concept in The Giver did not create Utopia but a Dystopian society.

The people realized the unpredictable weather created problems in growing food and transportation (Lowry, 2016). They tried to make the weather remain the same throughout without changes. They eliminated hills and valleys slowing down their transportation. Consequently, there were no more natural disasters such as floods, no sunburns, and other problems.

Children attaining twelve years in Jonas had their jobs guaranteed even if they failed in school. The secured future allowed the citizens not to worry about economic issues. People in the community worry no more about money. Before the 12th ceremony is held, those attaining 9 years of age would receive a bike in a special ceremony (Lowry, 2016). The leadership of Jonas argued that war arises where there is no equal or same property.

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The disadvantages of sameness are that Jonas community looked for perfection which is not easy to achieve in the world. The people were to have the same looking, similar routine of activities, and the color needed to be the same. No one was to question the ideas including taking pills to prevent “stirring” (Lowry, 2016). The citizens never enquired why there were monotony and sameness because there were no feelings.

Sameness began in the family unit where the rules indicated that there were supposed to be two children- a male and a female. The subjects did not have random chores to attend to bur rather followed the same routine daily (Pavlos, 2013). The way of doing things never changed because doing other things at the same time would derail their concentration and cause conflicts. It is not possible to attain perfection in looks, skin color, and gender in children at childbirth. The citizens were slaves to their culture and thinking. The giver reminds Jonas in the memories that there was a time flesh was many colors. Fiona’s hair is red, but the people could not see it (Pavlos, 2013).

The Giver portrays a community that lost their dignity and diversity in the attempt to become same. Speaking the words, language and voice, dressing the same color and riding same bicycles is an unacceptable trend in the modern world. According to Pavlos (2013), the people do not have privacy, one cannot lie, and no one should explore other avenues other than the stipulated actions and routine. The intended perfection from the beginning of the story is lost. The audience realizes how the community was on the verge of a downfall or precipice.

Communities that have laws and rules for the people to be equal in all aspect of life cannot make a step forward out of misery and poverty. It is impractical for all people to be the same. We cannot and will never completely master sameness. Diversity is an essential human value and the society cannot attain perfection without it. The disadvantage of sameness supersedes the advantages in the Lowry’s The Giver.



Lowry, L. (2016). The giver. W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services Library.

Pavlos, S. (2013). The giver: Notes. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt