In chapters 1-8 of Lowry's The Giver, what are some examples of a character or characters showing selflessness?

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Selflessness is when someone places another's needs above his or her own. In Lowry's The Giver, children are required to volunteer their time in the services of others. Jonas's friend Fiona regularly chooses to help the elderly people in the House of the Old. Because of her generous nature, Fiona is called to work there on a permanent basis during the Ceremony of Twelve. In chapter 4, Jonas goes to the House of the Old for volunteer hours and finds both Fiona and Asher working in the bathing room. All three of these youth could have volunteered in other areas of the community that are not as uncomfortable as bathing elderly adults. Fiona, Asher, and Jonas all show selflessness by respectfully giving their time to working with the elderly who need help bathing themselves. Below is a description of what these three do in the bathing room:

He helped the woman from the chair, led her to the tub, removed her robe, and steadied her with his hand on her arm as she stepped in and lowered herself. She leaned back and sighed with pleasure, her head on a soft cushioned headrest (38).

The volunteer hours must help these children learn to think of others because all three friends show selflessness while working with the elderly and with each other as friends.

Another example of selflessness can be found in chapters two and three. When Jonas's father speaks about his concerns for Gabriel, a new child who is developmentally challenged, Jonas's father says he might ask permission to bring the boy home to see if he and the family can help the baby develop more quickly and avoid release. Each member of the family shows selflessness when welcoming Gabe into their home in chapter three. Any one of the family members could have shown disinterest or angst for Gabriel spending time at the house in the evenings, but he is welcomed without argument.

Finally, in chapter six, Jonas shows selflessness when he comforts Lily about her coming-of-age ceremony for turning eight. Lily hates her hair ribbons and complains relentlessly about them. Jonas becomes frustrated at times when she does this, but in chapter six he shows kindness rather than frustration. He says the following to Lily:

There are good things each year. . . This year you get to start your volunteer hours. And remember last year wen you became a Seven, you were so happy to get your front-buttoned jacket? (52).

Lily calms down after Jonas helps her to recognize all is not lost simply because she still has to wear hair ribbons for another year. It is selfless whenever someone takes the time to comfort another, and that is exactly what Jonas does for his little sister in this scene.

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