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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Two children – one male, one female – to each family unit. It was written very clearly in the rules. (1.57)

While the community in The Giver may seem ideal at first, it's information like this that makes us a little nervous. Rules and order have stifled and controlled what we think of as spontaneous, emotional, and personal: family, sex, desire, marriage, and love.

Quote #2

Next, Mother, who held a prominent position at the Department of Justice, talked about her feelings. Today a repeat offender had been brought before her, someone who had broken the rules before. Someone who she hoped had been adequately and fairly punished, and who had been restored to his place: to his job, his home, his family unit. To see him brought before her a second time caused her overwhelming feelings of frustration and anger. And even guilt, that she hadn't made a difference in his life. (1.59)

The community has turned rule enforcement into a collective, communal activity. Jonas's Mother even feels personally responsible for another's transgression.

Quote #3

Jonas laughed. It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously, and it was almost always broken. The children all received their bicycles at Nine; they were not allowed to ride bicycles before then. But almost always, the older brothers and sisters had secretly taught the younger ones one. Jonas had been thinking already about teaching Lily. (2.17)

Jonas recognizes that some rules are frivolous, but he still takes his cue on how to act from those around him. He's fine with breaking the bike rule because everyone else does it, but he doesn't break the naked rule, which he finds equally useless.

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