Understanding Culture, Society and Politics
August 23, 2017
” THE GIVER’S UTOPIAN AND DYSTOPIAN: CONCEPT OF EQUALITY AND NO HUMANITY ”
John Lester E. Rimorin of MA 11 – Cinema
Mr. Guillermo Nikus A. Telan
This assay is based on the film, “The Giver”, and will take a close look at the main character, Jonas, in order to deconstruct his identity through the following lenses: Organizational Lens, Sociological Lens, and Psychological Lens. Through each of the three lenses, a literary review of the various influences on Jonas, and align with this, I stated the ideas on relationship between pain and pleasure that also connected to the theme ‘memory’, and how the film show us the motifs and symbol. And also i stated some ideas that interconnected to the sociology or theory and the example of spatial issues on the film that we have in our society. This analysis also explains the concept of sameness, equality and humanity.
Have you everwanted to live in a world that just aperfect? Or have you imagined yourself in the perfect world that everyone is the same, hunger is not issue, equality exist, nor conflicts, or crimes and best of all No bad memories. Then if you imagined the world as I described ,then you have might picture the world ‘utopian’.
Based on the film: The Giver, tells the concept of the socity that have shown could be perceived as utopian that lately discovered as dystopian. The film has given us a definiton of their own perspective of society, concluding a perspective from their own that sameness is somehow proven to be efficient in building a foundation of equality in a society. But, dealing with the perception of sameness could lead the society into conformity that lacks of individuality, causing an inhuman manipulation through controllable roles of the society, leading them to a social conditioning that could cause devaluation of desires and personal demands of an individual, just like Jonas, the character in the film whom selected to take over the Receiver of Memory, struggled into the sameness, oneness and conformity of his society.
STRUCTURE OF CONCEPT
This research is based on the film, “The Giver”, and will take a close look at the fundamental character, Jonas, with a specific end goal to deconstruct his personality through the following lenses, and also the relationship between pain and pleasure; Themes, Motifs, and Symbols.
Organizational Lens: How Jonas is influenced by rules enforced by the Elders:
The Elders are highly respected. They live in the House of the Old. They are treated with the highest care until their Release and also the group of people who supervision and invoke the strict rules of the society. Jonas influenced by the elders influenced by folkways, mores, and laws that make up the narrow road of society. Examples of these are the uses of loud speaker on the public.
Another example of control used by the Elders is in how they make all decisions for the sake of stability. This consists of controlling the number concerning children born into the society as well they control the wide variety of people whoever are releases beyond the community.
This is aligns on Mitchell and Sackney’s (2011) concept of managed system organizations, where administrators treat people like machines. They state, “If anything (or any person) did not function properly, one could simply find the broken part, repair or replace it, and thus restore the object (or person) to the expected level of functionality” (p. 23). They go on to say, “There is little room or tolerance for personal interests, human differences, or emergent structures” (p. 26). In this the rules on any changes in the community, the Elders limit Jonas’ growth and capacity as caring individual.
In spite of the fact these control managed by the Elders show Jonas dutifulness and furthermore gives him a suspicion that all is well and good, they all have an impact in lessening his self-esteem, and independence and thus, his ability to develop. These impacts dishearten human poise and not effective techniques the present’s organization. In opposition to the society in “The Giver” which exists in a closed framework condition where there are never any progressions; organizations of today should adjust to react to exponentially evolving surroundings.
Sociological Lens: How Jonas is influenced by language, culture, and by his mentor, the Giver:
In the film ‘The Givers’ there are many factors that considers, One of these is the use of language in the community, for example the precision of language. Precise language, however, in this community, is not precise at all but rather is a language in which the meanings of words are intentionally unclear. Children are usually corrected by their parents when using these strong words or unfamiliar words, with the phrase, “Precision of language please!”
In the film, Jonas experiences love for the first time through a memory transferred to him by the Giver. He goes home to ask his father about this emotion:
Jonas: Father, do you love me?
Mother: Jonas, Precision of language, please!
“Jonas used a word so antiquated that it no longer has any application. ”
Father: If you asked, “Do you enjoy me?” the answer is certainly yes.
The Giver, 2014
Another factor in Jonas’ life is the community’s culture of tradition. Most of the day-to-day decisions made by the members of the community are made based on what on their status. Thus for day-to-day decisions they prefer to remain with the status quo. This culture encourages Jonas to make decisions based on tradition, rather than on knowledge. At the same time it discourages him from making any decisions that may involve any kind of change or risk, thus discouraging growth in critical decision-making.
The last factor that influences Jonas’ is his relationship with his trainor, the Giver. As Jonas begins his training as “Receiver of Memories” with the Giver, he begins to build an emotional bond for the very first time. His bond with the Giver turns into that of a real father-son relationship. When the Giver transfers a memory of starvation to Jonas, Jonas asks him to explain why this painful memory is necessary. The Giver concept of wisdom by showing Jonas that wisdom, or being able to make good decisions, comes not only from knowledge of one’s own experiences, but also from knowledge of other people’s experiences.
Jonas learns that the leadership come’s responsibility. When he becomes a receiver, he has the responsibility of keeping the memories of the community and using the knowledge of these memories to make wise choices in the future to help and benefit the community. He also learned that knowing what something is not the same as knowing how something feels. The best example from the film is:
“…Faces with flesh, of all different colors. I felt so alive. This was forbidden? I didn’t know what to think what to believe. Have faith, the Giver told me. He said faith that was seeing beyond. He compared it to the wind, something felt but not seen. Don’t accept…What is the truth just because; it’s coming someone you respect.”
Jonas, The Giver (2014)
Memories are not just about the past, they determine our future. You can change all things. You can make better. It was a life. It just seemed more complete. The more we experienced, the more we wanted.
Psychological Lens: How Jonas is influenced by his own personality and inner tendencies:
In the beginning of the film at the “Ceremony of Twelve’s”, Jonas is described by the Elders as a person who possesses the following traits: intelligence, integrity, courage, wisdom, and the ability to see beyond. This combination of traits is unique to Jonas and is a reflection of his inner tendencies.
This new information greatly disturbs Jonas to the point where he decides to take Gabriel and leave the community that night. Not only were they going to release the baby, the only person in the community Jonas truly loved, but they were releasing an innocent baby, and Jonas’ father acted like it was nothing at all. It’s here where Jonas realizes that respect for life was non-existent in this community.
In example of this in the last scene of the movie, Jonas shows an example of self-actualization, where he fulfils what he set out to do. Even at the point of near death, he is able to feel joy in his suffering. For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo.
The relationship between pain and pleasure:
The idea that there can be no pleasure without pain and no pain without pleasure is interconnected to the theme of the film ‘memory’. In life, you cannot feel life’s joys without experiencing pain. I find songs that can be related to the ‘Relationship between pain and pleasure’ first are, “How come things that makes us happy, make you sad” these quote means humanity learns from their pain and happiness. It shows that even you’re a happy and full of joy, you will be sad, you can’t be happy unless you have experienced pain. The second quote is “Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain” shows that if there is a joy it will comes pains, and where the sunshine there’s is comes rain. Example of these like in the community of Jonas, cannot appreciate the joys in their lives because they have never felt pain. When Jonas receives memories from the Giver, the memories of pain open him to the idea of love and comfort as much as the memories of pleasure do. Another quote is “After I’ve cried my last, there will be beauty from pain…” it shows that after you cry and you are over the pain you can always find beauty, this shows that something good can come from something painful. Last quote from the song is “I’m alive, but I feel like I’ve died” it shows that you are still alive, but you feel dead in the emotion and life. Example of these on the film where Jonas receives the memory of ‘war’ he is live in real life, but he feels the he already dead because of the horrid pictures of war when he receives.
E. Themes, Motifs & Symbols:
There are so many major themes offers a deep, thought-provoking commentary on politics and society. The film show us with a world where war, suffering, poverty, crime, not seen in the film connection on the utopian Community, people strive to maintain “Sameness” where everyone and everything is equal and same
One of the most important themes in The Giver is the significance of memory to human life. Lois Lowry said on the interview that I watched, she was started thinking about memory, the reason is because his father is very old, and his father losing his memories, and she think how memory important is, she realized that without memory, there is no pain. The importance of memory, the importance of individuality and freedom of choice are the main themes of the Giver because first of all.
Next theme in The Giver is the value of the individual. when people are unable to experience pain, their individuality is devalued. I think people learn from memories and gain wisdom from remembering past experiences. Another of these is the concerns about society and humanity. For example, she concentrates on the trade-offs involved when Jonas’ community chooses Sameness rather than valuing individual expression.
Another theme is Coming of age or growing up it focus on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood. Next is Science Fiction showing that with imaginative content such as futuristic settings. Also there’s another themes, such as friendships, acts of heroism, family and home, as well as the value of remembering the past.
THE RED COLOR or EYE COLOR
It symbolizes friendships, vital world of feelings and ideas that Jonas discovers. So when, Jonas sees the color red, he is just not seeing color red. And also when you see on the eye of Jonas and the Giver you will see the light eye, there connected to each other like a genetic link.
Jonas Nakedness stands for freedom
Jonas has an ability to understand what he sees.
Gabriel is a symbol of hope and of starting over. Babies frequently figure as symbols of hope and regeneration in literature, and also the symbol of the future, when Jonas heads towards to the future when he leaves to the community and going to the boundary of memory.
The river, which runs into the community and out of it to elsewhere, symbolizes escape from the confines of the community. It flows away from the community and its out of the control to the community..
The first memory Jonas receives from the Giver, is the sled it’s symbolizes the journey. Jonas takes during his training and the discovery he makes and also the memories he carry from the community.
EXPLANATION OF DIFFERENT IDEA
According to class notes, “Social Science” manages and makes sense of the explosion and makes senseofthe explosion of “social life” and “modernism” is an aesthetic and intellectual movement that searches for the universal, permanence and rationality amidst the heterogeneous, feeling and irrational world” (Jan 17, 2013)
There is modernism in the novel because the community is constantly working with social science to search for ways to organize life styles, create safety, and obtain rational permanence in an irrational world.
On a macro–level, structural-functionalism and symbolic-interactionism present in the film, whereas the social-conflict approach is not.
In the structural-functionalism there are examples like ‘Manifest function (intentional)’ is allow children to be involved in the community and gain experience, next is ‘Latent function (unintentional)’ is community is very organanized and has a specidic manifest functions behind every rule.
Another is the symbolic-interactionionism, in example of thesarebyusingofthe older people or the parents ofthe phrase ‘Precision of language”, this is extremely important in their community correcting them for using the wrong words, another example is they require people to apologize in specific phrase
The social-conflict aproach is not appear ithe film because there are no apparent inequalities that create conflict. In line with this the social fication does not exist because in their job theres no pay or there not given a special benefitsand the people are not ranked. Inequalities does not exist within the community where Jonas live because they live in a world of sameness.
142619194786500126936519024600012687302387600Manifest function (unintentional)
00Manifest function (unintentional)
2199640948690005861051906270001466492389517Manifest function (intentional)
00Manifest function (intentional)
1043305-78105Theoretical and conceptual foundations
0Theoretical and conceptual foundations
V. SPATIAL ISSUES
There are many issues that we’ll see on the film, that actually exist in the world or in our society, these are:
In the society of Jonas, every family they allowed two kids,one boy and one girl, but in our society you can have any amount of children in any gender and there are no restrictiions it depends on the parents here in our society.
In Jonas society, theres no issue of lies and equality present on their community but here in our society theres no equality.
In our society we freely pick our own jobs and everything while in Jonas’ society elders assigned their jobs.
In Jonas’ society if a birthmother has a twins the lightest one is released or killed, while in ours we are allowed to keep both of the twins.
In our society, it tends totake a long time for the prisoner to be killed if convicted of a crime, while in Jonas’ society the peopletobe released arekilled immediately.
In Jonas society they used lethal injection fluids to be used on release people, same on our society that they use electric chair, guilotine, gun fire and many more.
I THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT:
In this film, the community significantly influences it’s citizens live. The society is so conscientious organized in order to be fully functional and to prevent many dysfunctions that may cause issues. Every ones lives in the comfort of society.
Being in a society where people have same interests, thoughts, ideas etc. would more likely to become united, leading ways for them to be the same and one.
Being in this kind of sociological perspective, it attempts to awaken each and every one of the people to possible uncertainty that can exist when risk for conformity over individuality.
Although these , I conclude that The Giver’s view of society has a critical reception which only bears for the majority of society’s not for the individuality of members they have, and it is not factual as what we ordinarily see and perceive in reality.
Koenigsberg, Neil and Silver, Nikki (Producers), & Noyce, Philip (Director). (2014). Walden Company Motion Picture. United States
The Giver. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://sparknotes.comThe Giver. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://clipnotes.comThe Giver. Vanessa Guinto (2013, March 21) Retrieved from https://prezi.comBott, Joyce (n.d.). Psychological, Sociological, and Organizational Influences on the Main Character. Retrieved from https://www.sophia.orgSuperchick. “Beauty from pain” 2015. Studio Album
Maze. “Joy and Pain” 1980. Studio Album