The Giver: Dystopia or Utopia?

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Giver


The Giver Dystopia

Example



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Activity Overview


Utopian and dystopian literature is a rapidly growing sub-genre of popular fiction. Authors often use utopias to convey a message about the world we live in today.

Dystopias are extremely flawed societies. In this genre, the setting is often a fallen society, usually occurring after a large-scale war, or other horrific event, that caused chaos in the former world. In many stories this chaos gives rise to a totalitarian government that assumes absolute control. The flaws in this sort of a dystopia are centered around oppression and restrictions on freedom by central authorities.


Jonas’ Community

Have your students create storyboards where they choose a stance on the community. Is it dystopian or utopian? In the storyboard, the student can depict the elements of a utopia or dystopia, and explain their reasoning.

This storyboard uses examples from the article "Teaching Dystopia".

Examples of Dystopia in The Giver

ELEMENT EXAMPLE
No Independent Thought Dreams are suppressed through medication.
Oppressive Government Elders are revered and chosen to make decisions that are best for the community.
Lack of Free Will Choices are taken away from the people for fear that they cannot handle the consequences.
"Sameness/Uniformity" All houses are the same, inside and out!
Perfect Society Although everyone is happy, Jonas stresses that because they live in ignorance, their society is far from perfect.
Citizens are Under Surveillance The Elders can listen and speak everywhere.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows the six elements of a dystopia in The Giver.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify events or characteristics of the story that fit into the elements of a dystopia
  3. Illustrate the examples for each event or characteristic.
  4. Write a short description below each cell that specifically relates The Giver as a dystopia.


Elements of Dystopia Template

Template


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