From what rules was Jonas exempted?
4 Answers | Add Yours
The main two rules that Jonas no longer has to follow are the rules against lying and the rule that says that everyone always has to tell their dreams.
In both cases, these rules are made so that the community can always know what is going on in people's heads. That way they can know if the people are thinking or doing "wrong" things.
But Jonas now needs to be able to do these things. Since he is studying to be the next Giver, he has to know things about how the world really used to be. If other people knew about them, it might ruin the society that has been created in the community.
In the book "The Giver" Jonas has been chosen to be the receiver. As the receiver the memories of events, emotions, and experiences are transferred from the Giver to Jonas. In Jonas' dwelling at his home there were a limited supply of books. The books that were there were mostly reference books, but he now is able to have access to the library of books that belong to the Giver.
"Jonas had not yet opened any of the books."
Jonas is exempt from having to attend the ceremonies once he becomes the one with all the memories. The Giver spends most of his time isolated and does not have to attend the events with the other people. Instead he keeps to himself. This will become Jonas' life.
As the Giver, Jonas is also exempted from the "politeness" rule which keeps people from asking personal and sometimes embarassing questions. His role is unique, and as the Community mentor he can question anyone about anything as he pleased.
Jonas is reticent to exploit this privilege, and it takes him some time to open up and really share his deepest thoughts and feelings with the Giver. It seems, too, that the Giver himself has never really had anybody to really talk to as well - until Jonas comes along. The particular chemistry between them sets off a spark of hope for the future of the Community, as a change (and for the better!) finally seems possible.
The one page of directions Jonas receives when he is named as The Receiver of Memories gives some indications of the huge changes in Jonas's life and manner of relating to others that he is facing.
Jonas is now exempted from the rule against being rude; he may ask anything of anyone at any time and expect to receive an answer. Jonas is
so completely, so thoroughly accustomed to courtesy within the community...the thought of asking another citizen an intimate question, calling someone's attention to an area of awkwardness, [is] unnerving.
Jonas no longer has to tell about his dreams or discuss his daily activities or training for his assignment with his family unit. He may not request medication for any condition related to his training, which is disturbing because he has been told that his training will involve pain beyond the imagining of anyone else in the community. Jonas is not allowed to apply for release.
Possibly most disturbing of all, Jonas no longer has to abide by the rule that forbids lying. This is radically different from the pattern and expectation he has known to this point; it immediately raises questions in his mind about the truthfulness of statements made by others around him.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes