There’s some creepy similarities between The Giver and today’s universities that should serve as major red flags. There’s no big spoiler alerts in this list, and in fact I hope it entices you to see the movie or read the book if you have not already.
1. Avoidance of pain – In The Giver, there is no pain. No physical pain, but more than that, no emotional pain. In the book, people are not allowed to say anything that might hurt another’s feelings. That’s what today’s universities strive for. God forbid someone has their feelings hurt, or that they are told something they don’t want to hear. Campus leaders want to create a feel-good utopia in which everyone gets along. That’s why they mandate sensitivity training, have minuscule campus free-speech zones, and enforce student codes of conduct that outlaw mean words.
2. Precision of language – a phrase repeated in both the movie and book. There are a lot of meanings regarding this phrase, but one take away is the notion that “whoever controls the language controls the argument.” On many college campuses today, the term “illegal alien” has been banned, and people can’t refer to students’ biological genders, they have to use their “preferred” genders.
3. People choose wrong – one theme in The Giver is the notion that people can’t handle free will, so the government uses different forms of behavior modification.
One way this Nanny State mentality manifests itself on campus is by administrators who force students to take diversity and social justice classes, chastising them before they’ve done anything wrong. In classrooms, professors assign homework and readings that aim to correct students’ perceived wrong thinking and brainwash them instead of allowing them to discover and decide things on their own.
4. In The Giver, the community’s “sameness” is sort of like the demand in college for everyone to agree with the liberal mindset entrenched on campuses. Christians, conservatives and pro-Israel voices are shamed as “intolerant” and “backwards thinking.” Group think – a real-life campus reality made famous in sci-fi books.
It’s pretty scary how similar The Giver‘s Dystopian government is reminiscent of today’s college campuses.
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( follow Jenn on Twitter: @JenniferKabbany )
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