Study Guide

The Giver Chapter 9 Summary

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Chapter 9

  • As the crowd files out of the auditorium, Jonas meets up with Asher, who hesitates a moment before agreeing to ride back home with his friend. It's a little strained when they finally part ways.
  • That night at dinner, Jonas asks his parents about the "failed" receiver from ten years ago.
  • His parents hesitate to talk about it, and finally reveal that it was a girl, but they can't say her name. In fact, her name can never be used ever again in the community, even for new babies.
  • This is a big deal; it means disgrace.
  • Jonas asks what happened to the girl, but his parents report that they never saw her again after the "failure."
  • And that's that. Though they do congratulate their son and insist that he was "greatly honored" by this selection.
  • After the ceremony, all the new Twelves had been given folders of materials in the way of training for their new jobs. In bed that night, Jonas opens his to find just one sheet of paper.
  • It's a list of instructions telling him to go to the Annex entrance behind the House of the Old as soon as he's finished with school. Immediately afterwards, he has to return home. He is exempt from rules about rudeness, it says, which means he can ask anyone any question he wants. (Nice perk!) He's not allowed to discuss his training with anyone, and he's no longer permitted to share his dreams. He can't apply for any medication if the injury is related to his training, he can't ask to be released, and he is allowed to lie.
  • Jonas realizes he has no recreation time anymore. He's shocked about being able to lie and ask rude questions.
  • Then he ponders this: what if everyone got permission to lie when they turned twelve?
  • Holy moly, he thinks (roughly speaking). Since he can ask rude questions, he knows he could ask his Father whether or not he lied.
  • Except, he wouldn't know if the answer was true or not. (Unless the answer was "yes," but Jonas doesn't get into that logic mess.)

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