Economics was part of my curriculum. What I distinctly remember is term ‘perfect world’ and also ‘human beings are not rational’ and ‘wants are unlimited’ and ‘ in the long run we all are dead’. Whether or not it makes any sense to me now, back then it never did but the terms are well engraved in my mind and it keeps coming back.
The Giver (Part 1) was one of the random books I just picked up without even knowing that is a quartet. And that was a mistake. The wait to get the remaining parts was one of the longest and also quite an anxious one.
The moment I started the book, it was reminding me of something. Yes, it was the ‘perfect world’ of economics. An administered and well-ordered society, the needs are pre-defined and are met by the society. Everyone knows what is to be done and everyone is taught how it is to be done. Every child is monitored and future is decided based on skills and every elderly person is well taken care of. No chaos.
Sounds perfect, but that’s not all
Somebody decides who is the best life partner for you, somebody decides whether or not you are capable to raise kids, somebody decides what food you should eat, somebody decides what you should feel and what you should not and the same somebody decides whether or not you are fit to live !!
Do we really need a no-chaos world like this?
Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger and Son takes you through an enlightening journey of “perceived” perfect living to a “real” imperfect yet peaceful living. While the story starts with a utopian society, the events and the incidents open up the dark side or rather the making of such a utopian living and how individuals who want to make a difference, strive hard and transform the society.
In the times, where we are talking about machine learning and making machines intelligent, reading this contrasting idea of humans made into machines was quite intriguing.
Would this be our future? Assuming we are the race 1.0, will the Human 2.0 be and live like this?
A must read and not only once, but worth many re-reads.
All through the book and even now when I am writing, the question that’s haunting my mind..
If I were The Giver, what would I give..