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In Lois Lowry's The Giver, name some of the reasons why a newborn child like Gabriel...

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mi5a1 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 20, 2013 at 12:26 AM via web

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In Lois Lowry's The Giver, name some of the reasons why a newborn child like Gabriel would be released from the community.  What is the difference between being labeled "inadequate" and being labeled "uncertain?"  How were newborns placed with families?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 20, 2013 at 5:11 PM (Answer #1)

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In Lois Lowry's The Giver, a newborn is released, or euthanized, when they are labeled "inadequate." If a child is labeled "uncertain," then s/he is given a period of time to grow and develop before either being labeled for release or accepted into a family unit. Newborns were only placed in family units after passing all of the tests performed by the Nurturers. The only babies that are accepted into the society are those who can grow and develop mentally, emotionally, and physically on their own. Only the strongest survive in this society! In Gabriel's case,

"He had been given an unusual and special reprieve from the committee, and granted an additional year of nurturing before his Naming and Placement. Father had gone before the committee with a plea on behalf of Gabriel, who had not yet gained the weight appropriate to his days of life nor begun to sleep soundly enough at night to be placed with a family unit. Normally such a newchild would be labeled Inadequate and released from the community" (42).

Only after a newchild passed the weight and sleep tests was s/he presented to a family during the December yearly ceremony. It is only during the placement of a child that they received names before being turned over to families. Until the Naming Ceremony, babies only had numbers assigned to them according to the order in which they were born in that year. This helps the Nurturers not to get attached to them before a decision is made as to whether or not they will continue living in the community.

 

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