The Giver

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The Giver Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After leaving the Auditorium, the other Twelves talk excitedly about their new jobs. Jonas feels left out and strange. Even Asher acts differently and respectfully toward him. Jonas realizes that he won't share this job with anyone the way the other Twelves will. He feels uncomfortably different.
With Jonas's privileges and individualism comes loneliness, which does not exist in the rest of the community. Since everyone else is so similar, they never have secrets, unique experiences, or private thoughts.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
At the evening meal, Jonas asks his parents what happened to the person selected for Receiver ten years ago. His father tells him it was a female, and no one knows what happened except that she disappeared and that her name is Not-to-Be-Spoken, which Jonas knows is a tremendous dishonor. This only adds to Jonas's uneasiness.
Not mentioning unpleasant occurrences is a way of eliminating unpleasant emotions, the same way that not being allowed to mourn a loss after the established period ensures that grief is only temporary.
Themes
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
After dinner Jonas reads the file he was given at the ceremony describing his training to become Receiver. Other Twelves got thick folders of information. Inside his own folder is a single sheet of paper with a list of rules. He is allowed to ask anybody any question he wants, even if it's considered rude, and they must answer him. He is prohibited from discussing his dreams, or taking medication to relieve any pain he might experience. He is not allowed to apply for release. He is not allowed to discuss his training with anyone. He is allowed to lie. Jonas is troubled by the list. He is nervous about experiencing pain, but is even more uncomfortable about being allowed to lie. He wonders if any other members of the community are allowed to lie.
The differences between Jonas's instructions and those his friends' further distinguishes Jonas. The rule that forbade people from lying in the community ensured that everyone could trust everyone else. Now that Jonas learns that lying is permitted for some people, he wonders whom he can trust. The prohibition on applying for release suggests that what Jonas will learn or the pain he will experience might make him want to leave the community.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon