Where does Jonas' mother work?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The answer to this question comes in the first chapter when Jonas and his family are together and have their time of "feelings", where each talks about their day and shares their joys and frustrations. After Lily and then the father have their turn, the mother takes her turn:

Next, Mother, who held a prominent position at the Department of Justice, talked about her feelings.

So Jonas' mother has a position in the Department of Justice. She is obviously involved in judging and punishing offenders, as she shares about her frustrations of the day and how an offender who has been in front of her before was brought in front of her again because he had broken the rules.

sciftw's profile pic

sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The text of The Giver doesn't explicitly say what the job title of Jonas's mother is.  The text does give some hints though that can be used to infer what her job is.  I believe that she is a judge of some kind.  

In chapter one, Jonas's family is having dinner together.  As part of their dinner time conversation, each family member is expected to share some of their feelings from throughout the day.  When it is mother's turn, the narrator tells readers that she works at the Department of Justice.  

Next, Mother, who held a prominent position at the Department of Justice, talked about her feelings.

That's not enough information for me to make a claim that she is a judge.  It's not until the mother shares her feelings from the day that the reader can infer that Jonas's mother is a judge.  

Today a repeat offender had been brought before her, someone who had broken the rules before. Someone who she hoped had been adequately and fairly punished, and who had been restored to his place: to his job, his home, his family unit. To see him brought before her a second time caused her overwhelming feelings of frustration and anger. And guilt, that she hadn't made a difference in his life.

Again, the text doesn't directly tell readers that she is a judge.  But the above paragraph says that the repeat offender was "brought before her."  In court rooms, a person is brought before the judge.  They are not brought before a court reporter.  Additionally, Jonas's mother feels directly responsible and guilty over the fact that she didn't make a difference in the person's life.  It sounds like it was her decision to initially punish this person.  A lawyer or court reporter doesn't make those decisions.  A judge does.  I believe that Jonas's mother is a judge for the Department of Justice.  


ny0409's profile pic

ny0409 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I don't believe the book says, but she those work for the Department of Justice.



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