The Role Of Euthanasia In The Giver

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“‘We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others’” (Lowry 95). In the novel, The Giver by Lois Lowry, the main character Jonas is an Eleven, soon to be a Twelve. At the ceremony of Twelve a person’s Assignment is chosen. Jonas is selected to be the next Receiver of Memory. He receives memories from the current Receiver, who is now called the Giver, about what life used to be like a long time ago. Jonas learns about the pain that used to exist, and all the emotions that people had. In Jonas’s society everyone is equal in everyway, but in order for this to be achieved, people had to give up many things. Although the idea of altering society to a utopia seems ideal, the result would still be dystopian because of the loss of control…show more content…
One way that people can die is euthanasia. This is used in Jonas’s community often. Jonas learns about it, “He killed it! My father killed it! Jonas said to himself, stunned at what he was realizing. He continued to stare at the screen numbly” (Lowry 150). Euthanasia is used to get rid of the “defective” children that are born, and for the elderly when they come to a certain age and it is decided that they are no longer fit to live. For newborns, they are determined fit to live if they weight a certain amount, and if they sleep soundly through the night. If they do not fit these requirements, then they will be injected with a type of fluid that kills them, then they are sent away to be with other released. For the elderly, the only time euthanasia is used is when they turn a certain age, and are seen as “too old.” In modern society we have something similar, but also different. Euthanasia can be used for people who are in an immense amount of pain, and decide to end their suffering. Doctors will peacefully kill them with an injection. This is also known as assisted suicide. The different is that the people in Jonas’s society often don’t have a choice to be released or not. One can apply for release, but most are not given the option of living or dying. This is decided for them. Another way of dying is the death penalty. The death penalty in Jonas’s society, also known as release, is issued when large crimes are committed. An example of a large crime in their community is a plane flying over the community. This event causes panic throughout the community, and they go into a lockdown. The pilot of the plane is then released for causing such a panic. In modern society, the death penalty is also used only for serious crimes, but what is considered a serious crime to Jonas’s government, would not be considered serious to our government. We would consider a crime extremely
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