The Giver

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The Giver Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Just as they share their feelings at night, each morning the families in the community share their dreams. Jonas tells his family about his dream: he was in a bathing room and tried to get Fiona to take off her clothes and bathe with him, but she kept refusing. After Jonas's father and Lily leave, Jonas's mother explains that Jonas is experiencing Stirrings, which are normal for his age. Jonas's mother gives Jonas a pill and tells him that he must take one of these pills daily in order to stop the Stirrings. Jonas remembers that his father and mother take a pill every day, and he has seen Asher taking one also. In addition, the Speaker occasionally issues reminders over the loudspeakers that Stirrings should be reported immediately.
The community uses science to eliminate sexual feelings because sex leads to passion, competition, privacy, loneliness, and other strong emotions that the community considers dangerous to the common good. By removing sexual desire before people can act on it, the community ensures that its people will not long for sex and the emotions that it inspires.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas is proud that he is now such an adult that he has to take the pill, but he also remembers the pleasurable feelings in the dream. He misses the feelings once they disappear after he takes the pill.
Jonas's pride indicates his continuing belief in his community. Yet the fact that he misses the pleasures of his sexual dreams shows that he has a sense that his community's rules deny him aspects of his humanity.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon