Innroad Assignments In The Giver

Jonas is assigned to be the next Receiver of Memory.

In Jonas’s community, all children are given an assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve.  This assignment will lead them throughout their lives.  Jonas is not given an assignment at the same time as his classmates.  He is worried and confused when his name is skipped.  Then he is told he has been selected as the new Receiver of Memory.

The Receiver was the most important Elder. Jonas had never even seen him, that he knew of; someone in a position of such importance lived and worked alone. (ch 2, p. 14)

The Receiver of Memory is an honorable job.  This person advises the community, because he or she keeps all of the community’s memories and therefore has wisdom.  The wisdom is largely due to the pain from the memories that the rest of the community would prefer to shield itself from.

As Receiver of Memory, Jonas learns all of his perfect community’s dirty little secrets.  Eventually he is so horrified by them that he decides to leave, returning the memories to the people.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (p. 14). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Assignments are "secret selections" made by the Committee of Elders in order to determine what individuals will do in their lives. 

In order to make their selections, the Elders first carefully observe the individuals under consideration. Some of the observations of the children are made at school; additional observations are made of the children as they participate in their respective volunteer groups. Following the completion of their observations, the Elders meet extensively with all the...

Assignments are "secret selections" made by the Committee of Elders in order to determine what individuals will do in their lives. 

In order to make their selections, the Elders first carefully observe the individuals under consideration. Some of the observations of the children are made at school; additional observations are made of the children as they participate in their respective volunteer groups. Following the completion of their observations, the Elders meet extensively with all the instructors of each individual under consideration. Then, after the assignments have been decided, the ceremonies are held. 

The ceremonies differ for each age group. The Ceremony of One, for instance, assigns the "newchildren" to family units. These "newchildren" are given names to use instead of the numbers that they have been assigned since birth. The last ceremony, the Ceremony of Twelve, is the most important ceremony because those individuals who are Twelves are assigned a career. Thus they are placed on the path that will determine the rest of their lives.

In Chapter 2 of The Giver, the approaching Ceremony of Twelve causes Jonas some anxiety. His father tries to reassure him by saying,

"There are very rarely disappointments, Jonas. I don't think you need to worry...."

Also, his mother informs Jonas,

"After the Ceremony of Twelve, you'll be with your Assignment group, with those in training. No more volunteer hours. No more recreation hours. So your friends will no longer be as close."

Although Jonas is somewhat reassured by his parents, he does not have any idea of what his Assignment will be or how he might react to it.

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