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Imagine living in a problem-free society in which everybody got along. A society where fear, crime, and the brutal realities of our world are nonexistent. This depicts an utopian society. It’s a world that possesses perfect or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. A dystopian society is the opposite of this. It is the illusion of a perfect society, when in reality there are many faults and errors in the rules. In Jonas’s society, there’s no war or poverty.
Everybody treats each other with respect. To the people of his community, this may seem like the “perfect” place to live, but they don’t experience what it is like to truly live. In order for them to maintain this “perfect” society, the government must enforce strict rules and citizens must give up their freedom and individualities.
These rules create many fault and errors, so in reality it’s not perfect at all. Jonas’s society is classified as a dystopia because citizens have little freedom and they cannot express emotion.
To begin with, people in Jonas’s community have very little freedom. In Jonas’s society, there’s no war or poverty. Everybody treats each other with respect. To the people of his community, this may seem like the “perfect” place to live, but they don’t experience what it is like to truly live. In order for them to maintain this “perfect” society, the government must enforce strict rules and citizens must give up their freedom and individualities. These rules create many fault and errors, so in reality it’s not perfect at all. Some also lack the basic freedoms and pleasures that our own society values.
Second, citizens in Jonas’s society cannot express their emotion. The community had given up feelings such as love and happiness in exchange for the society’s stability. This is a major error in the rules because these feelings are what makes a person human. Although they may be safe from disease and other disasters, they traded their happiness in return. In the book, Jonas receives a memory of warmth, family, and love. He confesses to liking that feeling. Later, Jonas asks his parents if they loved him. In the text, his mother responds, “Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it’s become almost obsolete,” (Lowry, p. 127) This shows how the people in their community don’t understand or have the feeling of love. Also, when people get stirrings, they must take a pill. These pills shows how the rules and community are taking away their feelings and suppressing the best of human emotions. Jonas understands this mistake the community has made, even though the community do not understand it themselves.
COUNTER- Some people may argue that Jonas’s society is a utopia because in Jonas’ community, there is no poverty, starvation, unemployment, lack of housing, or discrimination. However, the community also does not have things that our society takes for granted, such as color and choice. This shows a flaw in their society. Without choices, a person’s individuality and freedom can be taken away. In the book, when Jonas begins to see colors, and he realizes how unfair it was that the other people in his community could not see colors. According to the text, it states, “He found that he was often angry, now: irrationally angry at his groupmates, that they were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on.” (Lowry, p. 99) This proves that by being able to see color, it can bring more liveliness and depth to a person. By taking this away from the people of the community, they are taking away their human characteristics.
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