The Giver – Literature – Genre

The Giver is a young adult novel written by Lois Lowry. Lowry portrays a society in the distant future. In this society, everything is in great order and everyone seems to be very happy. There is literally no pain, hunger or violence. For this reason, we may think that it is a utopian novel, about a perfect society that lives in peace. But as we keep reading, we discover that also there is no freedom, choice, love or individuality. People don’t experience joy and love; they have even given up their memories so as not to make mistakes. Everything is controlled; that’s how they feel safe. Furthermore, life is gray and humans don’t have the capability to see colors. So, the novel is actually an example of a dystopia. We can also consider this as part of the genre of science fiction because science fiction often deals with the impact of science and technology in a futuristic setting. The people in the community have developed a medicine that prevents people from feeling. Furthermore, science fiction is generally based on potentially possible science. In the book, the government controls the climate: they don’t have snow or heavy rains. This dystopic science fiction novel explores the potential for society to use scientific advances to the detriment of humanity. It can be seen as a warning.