The Giver Assignments

The Giver Assignments-81
He also learns that he will have very little time for recreation and wonders what will happen to his friendships.

He also learns that he will have very little time for recreation and wonders what will happen to his friendships.

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The rules that permit him to act differently—he is permitted to be rude and to lie, among other things—encourage him to think differently: his permission to lie makes him wonder for the first time if other people in his society are permitted to lie too.

Jonas loses some of his faith and trust in the members of his community.

His anguish and discomfort at being singled out at the Ceremony is only his first taste of the isolation he will experience as the new Receiver—the only member of the community whose life experience is appreciably different from anyone else’s.

His family’s quiet respect for him and his friends’ distant behavior contribute to this growing feeling of isolation.

Before bed, Jonas looks over the single sheet of paper in his Assignment folder.

He learns that he is exempted from rules governing rudeness—he can ask anyone any question he likes and expect an answer—that he is not allowed to discuss his training with anyone, that he is not allowed to tell his dreams to anyone, that he cannot apply for medication unless it is for an illness unrelated to his training, that he cannot apply for release, and that he is allowed to lie.She laughs as she remembers that for a while, three-year-old Asher refused to talk at all, but that “he learned . But when Jonas’s turn comes, the Chief Elder skips over him, moving from Eighteen to Twenty without acknowledging him.Jonas endures the rest of the Ceremony in horrible embarrassment and worry, wondering what he has done wrong.The audience is concerned too—they are unused to disorder and mistakes.At the end of the Ceremony, the Chief Elder apologizes for causing the audience concern and causing Jonas anguish.This slight loss of trust reminds us how dangerous it is to the structure of Jonas’s society to permit free choice or to encourage free thought.A perennial favorite with educators, The Giver has been widely taught in schools since its publication in 1993.She tells him that he has been selected for a very special position, that of Receiver of Memory.The community has only one Receiver at a time, and the current one—a bearded man with pale eyes like Jonas’s, sitting with the Committee of Elders—is very old and needs to train a successor.His friend Asher is assigned the position of Assistant Director of Recreation after the Chief Elder gives a long and humorous speech about Asher’s pleasant, fun-loving nature and the trouble he has had in using precise language.She recalls a time when Asher confused the words “snack” and “smack” at the Childcare Center, and received a smack with the discipline wand every time. [a]nd now his lapses are very few.” Jonas is relieved that Asher has received a wonderful Assignment and happy to see that his other classmates are pleased with their Assignments too.


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