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The community was filled with people who could not see color, so they had no way of recognizing the color of anyone else's eyes. Since the community was based on the necessity of sameness, this was to be expected and was not considered odd or unusual.
Jonas, however, does have eyes that are obviously of a different color than everyone else. The group of elders can not explain how they recognize this distinction, but they call it the "Capacity to See Beyond" and consider it as an ability that will be essential for the new Receiver of Memory. As the one who is responsible for providing advice to the elders when decisions must be made using information from the past, the Receiver needs to be able to see in a different way than any of the other residents of the community. Variation in eye color is unimportant, if not undesirable, for anyone else.
The only people in the community who are said to have "light" eyes are the Giver, Jonas, Gabe, and a little girl. all (probably the girl too) are able to receive memories. People with normal dark eyes can not (Jonas tries with Asher and Lilly.)
Jonas also feels uncomfortable being different- having a distingwishing feature. It is rude to call atention to it.
It also tells you a lot about sameness. Out of all the people in the community- 4 have different eyes.
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