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As with many societies that ultimately end up as dystopias in literature, Jonas's community initially appears designed to be a utopia. The society is safe, there are few premature deaths, Jonas's family seems to be loving and supportive, and Jonas has learned to value sharing, equality, and honesty, among other virtues. However, the safety of the society is shown to be equivalent to stagnation, and members of the society become so obedient and unquestioning that they do not even question the value of release if their jobs require that they sometimes euthanize individuals. Citizens of the community, such as Fiona and Jonas's father, have not learned to allow their emotions to reveal their character and help them develop a sense of right and wrong, so they feel no guilt at delivering lethal injections as part of their jobs.