The Rules in Jonas Society in "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

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About this sample


Words: 1153 |

Pages: 3|

6 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

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Words: 1153|Pages: 3|6 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

The Rules in Jonas Society in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
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The essay analyzes Lois Lowry's novel "The Giver," focusing on the themes of rules, control, and conformity in the community depicted in the story. In this dystopian society, everything seems perfect on the surface, with no pain, fear, or war. However, the essay highlights that this apparent perfection comes at the cost of individual freedom and choice.

The essay points out that the community is governed by strict rules and regulations, with an emphasis on precise language and conformity. These rules dictate every aspect of life, from family structure to career assignments. The essay discusses how the society values sameness and uniformity to prevent negative emotions, conflicts, and discomfort. The inhabitants are even given pills to suppress their emotions.

The essay also notes that Jonas, the protagonist, begins to question the lack of freedom and individuality in his community. He observes the way assignments are given and how they shape people's futures. Despite the seemingly orderly nature of the society, Jonas realizes that true life experiences, emotions, and memories are absent.

Everything in the world is perfect, right? The Giver by Lois Lowry is about a boy named Jonas, who lives in a utopia community, where there is no pain, no fear, no war. In this community, the people cannot choose who want to marry, their family, their job, etc. Everything in this community is the same “No one thinks to ask a question. Everyone obeys.” Life in the community where Jonas lives is seemingly perfect society, in which the Elder have eliminated pain, and as a result, rules. However, rule is not desirable in society because the rules cannot attain their own potential.

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Life Without Freedom and Choices

Jonas lives in community that seems to be strictly governed by a lot of rules. “At first, he had been only fascinated. He had never seen aircraft so close, for it was against the rules for Pilots to fly over the community.” The Giver’s introduction makes the reader fall into the strange world of Jonas. That Jonas could only remember once when he was afraid to imply that his community was very safe. However, the spraying instructions and the fate of the pilot clearly show that this community is also very structured and rule-based, and breaking that rule leads to penalties. The emphasis on accurate language implies that the community is very reasonable. “Two children, one male, one female, to each family unit. It was written very clear in the rules.” When parents in a family unit feel that they are ready, they apply to the Commission for a child. Their application is carefully considered a match made, pairing a specific new child that was born that year with each family having an approved application. New children are given to their designated families at the December rituals, some of them are still babies, while those born earlier in the year may actually walk. Each new child has a name when placed for the designated family unit. You have to make a special request to bring Gabriel home to nurture, and every family member, even Lily, has to sign a contract saying that he will not stick with new child, and be ready abandon him for nurturing the extra has up. There was no way that Jonas’s family could keep Gabriel, because they had two children in their unit.

Rules for each family were very important, too. In this community, Jonas has school books, and every family have to have three books “But the most conspicuous difference was the books. In his own dwelling, there were the necessary reference volumes that each household contained: a dictionary, and the thick community volume which contained descriptions of every office, factory, building, and committee. And the Book of Rules, of course.” The main book of the community is called Rule. It seems to contain all the necessary rules of citizens in the community. There are many rules, because there is a rule for everything. Violate the rules that lead to punishment, and break the three rules that lead to release. When Jonas first sees the books, he can’t imagine what all of these books could contain. “Jonas stared at them. He couldn’t imagine what the thousands of pages contained. Could there be rules beyond the rules that governed the community? Could there be more descriptions of offices and factories and committees?”. Around the dinner table, each member of Jonas’ family (Mother, Father, Lily, and Jonas) has to share their feelings, and also the dreams each morning. “Who wants to be the first tonight, for feelings?” Jonas’ father asked, at the conclusion of their evening meal. It was one of the rituals, the evening telling of feelings. Sometimes Jonas and his sister, Lily, argued over turns, over who would get to go first. Their parents, of course, were part of the ritual; they, too, told their feelings each feelings each evening. But like all parents. All adult, they didn’t fight and wheedle for their turn.” Sharing about emotions seems to be a great ritual in which families share and help each other solve problems and problems in a mature way. Jonas’s family seems to care and commit to each other. However, the strong emphasis on rules is a bit disturbing.

Everyone in Jonas community is organized and controlled by assignment. In The Giver, most of the first twelve-year-old children are marked with a gift. When one year old, children are assigned a name and family. At the age of four, they received coats with buttons at the back to teach them interdependence. At the age of seven, they received a button-up jacket. At the age of eight received new clothes with bags while the ninth year received bicycles. In the 10th year, the children get a new haircut. In the eleventh year, they are given more specific clothing than gender. Finally, in the twelfth year, children are tasked with the community. “Jonas laughed. It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. The children all received their bicycles at Nine; they were not allowed to ride bicycle before then. But almost always, the older brothers and sisters had secretly taught the younger ones. Jonas had been thinking already about teaching Lily”. There is a rule regarding riding bicycles. The children are not allowed to ride a bicycle until they becomes Nine. However, is it a rule that is usually broken, and discussion about changing it. A committee is examining to change the problem, but it is difficult to change this rules in Jonas’ community. Jonas realized that some rules were unreal, but he still gives people suggestions on how to act from those around him. He is fine with breaking bike rules because others do it, but he does not break the naked rule.

The Jonas community promotes sameness in order to make society a better place to live in, to prevent the fight, emotions of hate, jealousy. and all other problems that can affect society negatively and to prevent everyone from any discomfort. Sameness also means no love. When Jonas asks his parents if they love him, they scold him for not using precise language. Everyone’s the same and does the same things. For example, they wear the same clothes according to their age and at a specific age, they get a feeling called stirring and to prevent that they take pills for the rest of their lives. That doesn’t lead to the proportional population growths. Moreover, Jonas realized in his community, everyone is the same, everyone need obeys, when Jonas heard announced “The assignments continued, and Jonas watched and listened, relieved now by the wonderful Assignment his best friend had been given. But he was more and more apprehensive as his own approached. Now the new Twelves in the row ahead had all received their badges. They were fingering them as they sat, and Jonas knew that each one was thinking about the training that lay ahead. For some one studious male had been selected as Doctor, a female as Engineer, and another for Law and Justice, it would be years of hard work and study. Other, like laborers and Birthmothers, would have a much shorter training period.” In Jonas community, the beginning of adulthood is marked by the mass evolve of a group into the workforce.

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To conclude the essay, in the real life we live each and every day to gain as much as freedom we can. However, the citizens in Jonas’ community are not able to control their life. For example, their choice, their feeling, their family, their love, etc. Life without freedom, experience and memory is meaningless.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Rules in Jonas Society in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. (2022, July 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“The Rules in Jonas Society in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.” GradesFixer, 01 Jul. 2022,
The Rules in Jonas Society in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
The Rules in Jonas Society in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Jul 01 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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