SPEAKER: "ALL FEMALE SEVENS, PLEASE REMEMBER TO MAKE SURE YOUR HAIR RIBBONS ARE ALWAYS TIED!"
The society in "The Giver" by Lois Lowry initially appears to be a utopia. There is no memory of war or killing. There is no divorce, hate, fighting, pain, cold, hot, or danger. Everyone is equal and the same; envy has been extirpated. The community is based on "ignorance is bliss." However, the reader soon finds out that this ignorance also means a loss of love and human relationships.
NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT
Abigail has been assigned manager of the salmon hatchery. Abigail, we thank you for your childhood.
All citizens (except for the potential Receivers of Memory) have dark eyes. Everyone has almond-colored skin. Sameness is the foundation for the community. Everyone has the same clothes, dwellings, possessions, etc. There is climate control and the landscape is flat. Everyone sees in gray. There is no diversity or envy.
There are surveillance cameras all around Jonas' community, and the speaker publicly chastises anyone who makes even minor transgressions of the rules. The elders are always watching everyone in Jonas' community.
LACK OF FREE WILL
No one in the community ever engages in any independent thought. The Elders choose everyone's jobs and how they will live the rest of their lives. The Elders also choose everyone's spouses. There is no choosing what to eat for dinner. Because their world is in gray, it does not matter what they choose to wear. No one makes any decisions for themselves. All is the same. No one questions the government or ever thinks about change. They only do what they are told.
In Jonas' community, the government is omnipotent and very harsh. If you make even a three mistakes, you will be released, which is a euphemism for being put to death. If a baby is below a certain weight, it is released. If there are identical twins, the lighter one will be put to death. When the citizens are toddlers, they are smacked with a "discipline wand" if they confuse words. All rules are taken incredibly seriously, and the government is very oppressive.
I understand, Your Honor.
Johnathan, you have committed three major transgressions to the rules. You will now be released.
Citizens do not have any choices whatsoever, and the government decides everything for them. They cannot decide how many children to have, what furniture they want in their homes, or even what to have for dinner. They do not choose what job they will have; the Elders have all the power.
No one is allowed to choose how many people are in their family. There is no free will at the most fundamental level.