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From Lois Lowry's The Giver, give an example that shows Jonas's concern for precision...

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juliebeard | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 8, 2013 at 1:31 AM via web

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From Lois Lowry's The Giver, give an example that shows Jonas's concern for precision of language?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:25 PM (Answer #1)

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In Jonas's world, finding the best word to explain one's feelings is an important task. It is so important that the topic is one that is discussed within the first few pages of the book's beginning. "Jonas was careful about language. Not like his friend, Asher, who talked too fast and mixed things up, scrambling words and phrases until they were barely recognizable and often very funny" (3). This textual evidence supports the fact that it is important to Jonas, but as one continues reading, precision of word choice is important to the whole society as well. Jonas's friend Asher is taught by his teacher that there certainly is a difference between the word "distraught" and the word "distracted" (4). In order to express the appropriate feelings, great emphasis is placed on correct word choice in school and at home.

For example, every family unit is required to share their feelings about the day each evening. Jonas works through different words in his mind to determine which one is correct about how he feels about the ceremony coming up in December. He considers the word "eager" but eventually decides that "apprehensive" is a better word. By going through this process of choosing words carefully, Jonas shows that he pays attention to detail, but also pays attention to his feelings. This paves the way for one of the many attributes needed for him to become the Receiver later.

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