: Similar Yet Different Essay, Research Paper
When one examines the similarities between Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and The Giver by Lois Lowry, they may be baffled. They may think that Lowry just did a run off of Huxley’s highly successful masterpiece. The similarities are extraordinary, but so are their differences. Many aspects of these novels are almost identical while others are completely foreign to each other. Both of these novels feature structure societies, but the societies are not the same. In Brave New World, there are no families or definite partners, but neither society believes in love or true family. The Giver has no specific caste system, but the members of their community do not have control of their own future; that is left to the elders. Lastly are Jonas and John. They are basically the main characters and both endure severe inner troubles, but are they similar enough to make the novels similar?
In Brave New World, there is definitely a caste system of community members. Each level of society keeps to themselves. They work and live according to how they were conditioned. They do not have a certain ordinance on manners or behavior; they are promiscuous and, for the most part, outgoing. The characters in Brave New World do not know the meaning of the world love. They do not have the slightest inkling of what it is like to have a family; the idea of parents and childbirth repulse them. The Giver has a society that believes in having families for stability, but they do not believe in love. The word is broad and meaningless. When Jonas asked his parents if they loved him, they laughed and told him to be more specific because language is everything. Do they enjoy him? Yes. Are they proud of him? Yes. But do not use the word love! On the issue of childbirth, they see it as a profession without honor. They do not have their own children, their children are chosen for them. They do not grow up with their families for long; when they turn a certain age, the contact with their parents comes to an end.
The characters in Brave New World live happily (and stupidly) in their own little caste systems. They are completely oblivious to anything outside their own little worlds. They are put into a profession according to their caste system and their conditioning. They know nothing about any other job in the community; they do not even know the reason for what they do, they just do it. They have absolutely no say in what they want to be or where they want to fit in. They are conditioned and trained from their beginning to do what they were made to do. The Giver portrays a bit more freedom during job selection. When the children reach the age of eight, they are given four years of volunteer work before their jobs are selected. The elders take into deep consideration the choices of volunteer work that the children have chosen. They attempt to make conscious choices of careers for the twelve-year-olds. The elders make almost every choice that needs to be made in the community. In Brave New World, Mustafa Mond makes the ultimate choices.
When reading Brave New World, one will quickly realize that John become the main character. One is able to relate more to John than any other character in the book. He is stricken with inner struggles that may be unimaginable to modern society. He does not know whether or not to conform to his new surroundings or to follow the ways of his past life on the savage reservation. He is overwhelmed by all of the curiosity and is unable to communicate his problems to anyone who would understand. His emptiness and feelings of guilt drive him to suicide. In The Giver, Jonas is plagued by almost the same problems. He knows too much and is forbidden to share his problems and feelings with anyone but the Giver. Jonas feels that he is too young and immature to endure all of this personal struggle and forgotten memories. He wants to be released without being released by society’s way. He leaves, and to my interpretation, dies. Both John and Jonas were not mentally equipped to handle the situations they were confronted with.
While many may not observe the similarities or differences in Brave New World and The Giver, they are quite obvious. While one society is repulsed at the past, the other simply erases it from memory and it is never spoken of. Neither society believes in love or family, but there are subtle differences in their beliefs. While The Giver has no definite caste system, they have certain procedures for levels of society. John and Jonas are similar characters who are confronted with inner turmoil and find their own ways out. Brave New World and The Giver are wonderful works of art that are extremely close in storylines. Whether one believes that they are similar or different, it must be said that the resemblances are almost scary.