Giver Lois Lowry. Exposition Decent Man/Indecent Man Thesis

Length: 3 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Sociology Type: Thesis Paper: #17097117 Related Topics: Babbitt, Ceremony, Sentencing, Bath
Excerpt from Thesis :

¶ … Giver Lois Lowry. Exposition (decent man/Indecent man discussion).First sentence

Indecent Giving

The paradox that can be found within Lois Lowry's The Giver is that the decent inclinations of the primary characters are often contextualized and viewed as indecent by the surrounding community. This observation may be found the most lucidly in the dialogue, thoughts and actions of Jonas, as well as in those of the character named The Giver. The natural proclivities of both of these characters are understandable, particularly in light of their special talent and charge of the community in which they live -- which is to preserve all of the memories that have existed within the particular community to spare other residents the burden of the pain and discomfort which the evocation of those memories would inevitably create. Lowry sets up this paradox, however, to readily demonstrate how what may have been regarded as a Utopian society by some is actually a Dystopian society -- which is, of course, yet another paradox that exists within this literary work for children (Babbitt, 1993).

Relatively early on in The Giver, Lowry establishes the paradox of the tendencies which the surrounding society views as indecent that actually spring from natural and fairly decent motives by illustrating Jonas' interest in the opposite sex. When he tells his mother that he has dreamed of administering a bath to his friend and contemporary, Fiona, his mother views the inherent nakedness which this desire would have engendered as an inappropriate, indecent response from a burgeoning adolescent, and makes him take a

...

However, as the following quotation indicates -- in which Jonas is preparing to bathe an elderly woman, Jonas's desire to bathe females actually stems from a tendency to help. "It was against the rules for children or adults to look at another's nakedness; but the rule did not apply to newchildren or the Old. Jonas was glad. . . . He couldn't see why it was necessary. He liked the feeling of safety here in this warm and quiet room; he liked the expression of trust on the woman's face as she lay in the water unprotected, exposed, and free" (30). This quotation demonstrates the fact that Jonas's desire for naked females is actually rooted in his desire to help them, which is why he feels so comfortable bathing the old woman in this passage. However, due to the excessive conservatism of the society that has engendered Jonas, this desire is distorted into one of indecency -- which merely underscores how there is an endemic problem with this particular society.

Eventually, Jonas decides to flee from his allegedly Utopian society for a number of reasons, to protect the child Gabriel whose life is threatened, as well as to help restore the collective memories of those who exist within the community. The Giver, who has been encouraging Jonas in this endeavor, sanctions this action, which has largely paradoxical influences as it will inherently cause a restoration of pain and suffering to the community, as the following quotation -- in which the two are talking about this plan -- underscores. "But why can't everyone have the memories? I think it would seem…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Babbitt, Natalie. "The Hidden Cost of Contentment." Washington Post. 1993. Print.

Silvey, Anita. "Interview with Lois Lowry, Margaret A. Edwards Winner." School Library Journal. 2007. Web. http://www.libraryjournal.com/slj/printissuecurrentissue/863262-427/interview_with_lois_lowry_margaret.html.csp

Ray, Karen. "Children's Books." New York Times. 1993. Web. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/31/books/children-s-books-335293.html

Campbell, Patty. "The Sand in the Oyster." Horn Book Magazine, 717-721. 1993. Print.


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