Censorship In Lois Lowry's The Giver

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Potter Stewart once said, “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.” Often times, people try to censor media because they feel that it contains inappropriate content that should not be shown to the public. Many have attacked Lois Lowry’s The Giver for its controversial content. The Giver is centered around Jonas, a boy who lives in a seemingly peaceful community where differences within people have been eradicated. Each member of the community is assigned a position in society to help the community function. When Jonas turns twelve, he is selected to be the Receiver of Memory. Only he and the Giver know the truth and memories of the past. Feeling burdened with these memories, Jonas decides to flee the community altogether.…show more content…
Many people have criticized the book, claiming that it contains sexually explicit content. It is true that Jonas tells his family about a dream he had involving his friend Fiona. In his dream, he longed for Fiona to take her clothes off so that he could bathe her with a sponge. However, Jonas’ description of his dream does not justify the novel’s censorship. He says, “It was me and Fiona, alone in the room, standing beside the tub….I wanted her to take off her clothes and get into the tub.” He describes the details as being “murky and vague” and says “I could feel the wanting all through me” (Lowry 34-35). Jonas does not go into much detail when telling his parents about his dream. He, like everyone else in his community, has no understanding of sexuality. Although this scene alludes to sexual desires, it is too innocuous to be condemned as sexually explicit. The reasoning behind banning The Giver for its sexual content is faulty and…show more content…
Throughout the book, Lowry does allude to the fact that Jonas’ utopian society is not as perfect as he painted it to be. For instance, when a Birthmother has a pair of twins, Jonas’ father weighs both of them before gently injecting a needle into the smaller one’s head. Jonas is horror-stricken when he realizes that the newchild is dead as his father places the body in a trash chute, waving goodbye. Jonas finally discovers what release is: “his father began very carefully to direct the needle into the top of the newchild’s forehead, puncturing the place where the fragile skin pulsed…the newchild, no longer crying, moved his arms and legs in a jerking motion. Then he went limp” (Lowry 140). The author is using this scene as a way of developing the rising action of the story. The climax of the story occurs when Jonas realizes what it means to be released. It is at this point in the story when Jonas realizes that the community is not a good place. Lowry wanted readers to think about the possible detrimental effects of a utopian society such as Jonas’ and had no intentions of glorifying infanticide. Therefore, banning The Giver for depicting infanticide is

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