The dazed stupor of the hysterical do-gooders who foster racism while calling for censorship disguised as fair play find the fruits of their labor realized in director Phillip Noyce’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 children’s classic, The Giver.
After the Ruin, boundaries were set to achieve “true equality” that hinged on “precise” language and curfews. By eliminating all differences that can cause suffering to others, the goal of this futuristic community is to avoid hatred and war. But for a price!
The film begins in black & white at the Ceremony of Growth where those of a certain age are assigned a purpose designed to help them “fit in.”
Owing a huge debt to both Ayn Rand’s Anthem and Huxley’s Brave New World, there have been other dystopian films such as Equilibrium and Harrison Bergeron that show a not-too-distant future where emotion has been eradicated in the attempt to guarantee there being no losers, that no one achieves popularity more so than anyone else so that everyone measures up to a sameness – no better off than anyone else.
It doesn’t sound like the not-too-distant future. It sounds like last week. Especially when you take into account that for complete obedience, one of the first distractions eliminated is music! Shades of Georgia Public Broadcasting!
Equality is reached via the “Sameness” which prohibits vague language. Believe me, I know a little something about individual expression and how those whose goal is to control all dialogue and see themselves as the arbiters of correctness always claim they don’t believe in censorship yet pretend to warn others that they need to “watch what they say”! Such infractions in The Giver will earn the violator the classification of “gone elsewhere,” and as was learned from Anthony Fremont in The Twilight Zone’s “It’s a Good Life,” unhappy thoughts can send you to the cornfield!
Chosen as the next Receiver of Memory, Jonas is to be trained to become the guardian of the past (before the Sameness) in order to aid in the elders’ decisions. He’s instructed to not discuss his training with anyone. Troubles arise when it becomes apparent to him that this world that’s been accepted isn’t always fair.
I remember years ago when an American in Manila was caught in the act of vandalizing cars. Convicted, he was sentenced to bamboo caning, which caused an American outcry that this was barbaric! Nope – true barbarism was his failure to respect private property! There are no human rights without property rights.
Again, for those with the “progressive” brain aneurysm: there are no human rights without property rights!
What does it benefit an individual to be designated as the beneficiary of “human rights” if his property can be seized by Imminent Domain? Or his bank account confiscated and redistributed? If his home is burned to the ground? His business looted – robbed for cigars or gold? If allowed unchallenged, what’s to keep the looter satisfied with mere property? What if he returns to demand your life? The issue in the real world is that some are permitted, out of a sense of injustice or envy, to sacrifice others.
In The Giver, though the elders abhor war and hatred, they find it necessary to use force against rebellious voices so they maintain a military police force. Yet we live in a world where those who claim to oppose war re-elect one who promised to end war only to redeploy air strikes later on!
Any word recognized as “hurtful” to another is treated as being insensitive. In The Giver, words like “family” or “love” are considered too vague and therefore it is required that “precise” language be used so that everyone will understand what’s being said.
With any dystopian future, the threat is not only that speech is restrained but that the mind itself becomes inflexible, unable or unwilling to see contradictions.
We learn that Jonas isn’t the first to have been prepared to remember the beforetimes, as his guide still mourns a previous trainee named Rosemary (played by Taylor Swift) who’s “gone elsewhere.”
As their past is revealed, the film uses black & white footage that slowly shifts into color as Jonas sees the bland nature fostered by the Sameness awaken desires and nurture his inquisitive spirit.
What does it matter if brutes and bullies fail to understand that what they steal today will be paid for by their own starvation tomorrow? The real world will leave them behind. Nor should any notice be made for those rushing toward the return of primitive hard labor because they will be first to complain.
As in The Giver, it’s best to let reality respond. It always does.