It is interesting how the educational system and culture are set up in Lois Lowry's The Giver. First of all, only 50 children are allowed to enter the community when they are born, and even then the children aren't named are numbered. They only receive a name if they make it through their first year of life and are then given to a family. After that, each grade is referred to as "Fives," or "Nines," or "Elevens." With almost every advancement in years, the children of the community either obtain a new privilege, such as Nines receive bicycles, or they lose a symbol of youth, such as Eights having their comfort objects taken away.
Finally, the ceremony for the Twelves is when the children enter into service for careers and jobs that they will hold for the rest of their lives. No doubt this is why Jonas feels anxious about his life because at the opening of the book, he is just a couple of weeks away from turning 12 and receiving his assignment.
Jonas's father tries to calm his son's nerves...
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