The Giver and Our Not So Dystopian Society

by Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director on August 26, 2014

Post image for <em>The Giver</em> and Our Not So Dystopian Society

The case of Baby Gammy opened the eyes of the world to the cruelty that can often come into play in surrogate pregnancy arrangements—especially when a child is discovered to have some form of disability.

Unfortunately, it seems the Baby Gammy case is not an outlier. The Telegraph is reporting on a new situation where a British mother has rejected a disabled twin being carried for her by a surrogate mother. According to the surrogate mother, upon hearing news of the disability, the intended mom remarked

She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child.

Given the desire for perfection when creating children through surrogacy or other forms of third party reproduction, I’m not surprised by this latest story.

Perhaps one of the ironies of this, however, is that I’ve recently seen the new film, The Giver (featuring such Hollywood stars as Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and Katie Holmes) based on Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel by the same name.

The story is centers on a dystopian society where individuals are forced to conform to their Community’s standards of perfection. In this world, some members are assigned to serve as birth mothers with their sole purpose in life to bear children for others.

Notice any parallels here to the stories we tell in Breeders? Of course, if the children are born and do not possess the traits deemed most desirable by the Community—or even if they are slightly underweight or a bit too fussy after birth—these children are discarded.

Again, sound familiar?

The Giver, of course, is meant to shock its viewers by depicting the grim realities of what could be, should we choose perfection over respect for human life. Frighteningly, it serves as more of a mirror of the realities that, increasingly, are already all too familiar.

Previous post:

Next post: