How is the jacket that the fours, fives and sixes wore in The Giver different from the jacket the sevens wore and what do they symbolize?
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The community used every opportunity to train residents in the ways of doing and thinking about their lives that would support the lifestyle which had been adopted. Even the clothing provided for residents taught important concepts.
Children who were four through six years of age wore jackets that opened in the back. These young children were unable to completely put the jackets on by themselves because of the back closing, "so that they would have to help each other dress and would learn interdependence."
Seven year olds received a different style of jacket, one that closed with buttons down the front opening. The different styling of the jackets served as "the first sign of independence." At seven years of age, each child was finally given clothing that allowed him or her to completely dress independently as "the first very visible symbol of growing up."
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