Did Larissa know exactly where Roberto or anyone else went when they were released in The Giver?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Larissa does not know exactly where Roberto or anyone else goes when they are released.  She is describing Roberto's ceremony of release, which had just taken place that morning, when Jonas asks her,

"What happens when they make the actual release?  Where exactly did Roberto go?"

Larissa responds with a "small shrug",

"I don't know.  I don't think anybody does, except the committee".

It does not seem ever to have occurred to Larissa to wonder about what really happens when a person is released.  The citizens of the community are conditioned from birth to accept that this is the way of things, and, deprived of "memories", they do not think to question it.  Larissa is completely absorbed in recalling the ritual of the event, relating with appreciation how wonderful Roberto's life was, as it was recounted in his ceremony.  She tells Jonas that after Roberto's life story was told, there was a toast raised to him, and then the witnesses "chanted the anthem", after which Roberto made "a lovely good-bye speech".  Even when Jonas specifically asks if she knows exactly what happened to him when he was released, she brushes his question off.  Larissa, like the vast majority of the community, does not have the curiosity to examine the events of their lives more deeply, nor does she have the ability to reason much beyond the surface of things.  All Larissa remembers is Roberto's look of "pure happiness" as he entered the Releasing Room (Chapter 4).


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