Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Dan and Paul take an in-depth look at the worlds portrayed Young Adult dystopian fiction.
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Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby Paul » 11 May 2015, 08:32

Forget 50 Shades of Grey, in this future, everyone is literally in black and white. Maybe they shouldn't have trusted Jeff Bridges with all of the world's memories? This week Dan and Paul talk about The Giver!
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Re: Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby winterpanda » 11 May 2015, 16:39

There is one detail from the book that I found interesting, though I have not watched the movie
I remember something about people gaining the memories after Rosemary was "released" which The Giver was brought in to deal with. It also mentioned that Jonas can never be "released" even if he asked to be.

Great podcast, as always!
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Re: Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby Master Gunner » 11 May 2015, 17:11

I think it was a different situation that The Giver gave as an example where his expertise was called on, though he certainly would have being involved in the Rosemary situation as well. IIRC it was something to do with a plane from another community flying too close or something, but I could be remembering a completely different passage instead.

I think with Rosemary, they didn't know that "Releasing" her would release all the memories, which is why the rule is now instituted for Jonas.
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Re: Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby Clypheous » 12 May 2015, 05:18

I remember the book having some significantly different parts and explanations than how Dan and Paul described the movie. I'll admit, I've not seen the movie at this point because the Giver book drove me a little nuts.

I remember that in the book, and this is from having read it around 20 years ago, that the Giver showed the townspeople what starvation felt like when they wanted to expand the town and didn't have enough food. This is the memory that was shared that he needed to give the elders that I recall.

This one has a little bit more magical realism than the previous ones as the last ones all had, if a little unbelievable, at least pseudo-scientific explanations for everything that happened, here, there's really no explanation for how anything the Giver does actually works, it just does. For a society that's based on complete control of everything, having your entire society depend on one guy not accidentally getting killed seems like a poor design strategy. If he has a heart attack or something when he's young, or accidentally ingests poison, or has virtually anything else happen to him, BOOM, goodbye society.

I also still have some problems with the social engineering aspects of the whole state. Choosing a career for a person for life is discounting some very serious benefits to having people change careers throughout their lives. First, there are a lot of fields where you get to be an expert by doing other things for awhile. It seems that a progression of apprentice to journeyman to master would make a lot more sense in all of these societies than just "you're a doctor now Harry, enjoy it forever". Although I suppose their way of dealing with older people means that you don't have to worry about details like doctors getting shaky in their old age.

All in all, another great discussion and you certainly both had some insights that I had not thought of, although at least some of that was because the book was a little different than the movie. Great work guys! I'm really looking forward to whatever you're doing next.
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Re: Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby Bernard » 14 May 2015, 08:53

I had to read The Giver in middle school and there was one thing about the job assignments that I've never gotten over. Some of the girls are assigned to be breeders, and they give birth to 3 children in 3 years, then switch to manual labor because mothers are obviously good for nothing else. Assuming every year is like Jonas', in order to keep a stable population with no growth or decline, 17 of 25 females from each year would have to be assigned to just have children. That kind of gender inequality is not only horrifying but incredibly impractical. Based on their own system, forcing two thirds of the women into manual labor would be a waste of talent.
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Re: Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby AdmiralMemo » 14 May 2015, 09:35

That kind of system reminds me of "Cerberus" the second book in the "Four Lords of the Diamond" series by Jack Chalker.
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Re: Fight the Future 04 - The Giver

Postby Clypheous » 14 May 2015, 11:56

Bernard wrote:I had to read The Giver in middle school and there was one thing about the job assignments that I've never gotten over. Some of the girls are assigned to be breeders, and they give birth to 3 children in 3 years, then switch to manual labor because mothers are obviously good for nothing else. Assuming every year is like Jonas', in order to keep a stable population with no growth or decline, 17 of 25 females from each year would have to be assigned to just have children. That kind of gender inequality is not only horrifying but incredibly impractical. Based on their own system, forcing two thirds of the women into manual labor would be a waste of talent.


I actually mentioned this exact same thing in a different thread here before they actually even did The Giver. I guess the author didn't do the math and realize that only having three children would mean that 2/3rds of all women would be birth mothers.

Although, honestly, do you think that gender discrimination is the biggest problem in this society?

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