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The society of The Giver is one that values sameness above individuality, emotions are controlled, and memories of the past are eliminated. There are rigid parameters for this community and rules for behavior.
1. Every December all the children born in the previous year are given their first birthday and made One. There are fifty in the group, if none have been released. Children who do not sleep through the night by age 2 are released.
2. Husbands and wives are assigned their children.
3. Parents are allowed two children; these children are not born of them, but are "acquired." The names of these children are also assigned from a list compiled for the Ceremony of Ones.
4. At the age of Three, children begin to describe their dreams to their families, and they begin the acquisition of the appropriate language of the community.
5. At the ages of Four to Six, children wear jackets that are buttoned in the back so that they learn the interdependence of the community.
6. At the age of Seven, children wear front buttoned jackets as symbolic of growing independence.
7. At the age of Eight, all the children are no longer allowed a Comfort Object. If they have one that they take to bed; it is taken from them. They also begin their volunteer work.
8. At the age of Nine, girls may no longer wear hair ribbons.
9. At the age of Ten, girls no longer wear their hair in braids; boys have their hair cut shorter.
10. At the age of Twelve, children are assigned their life's vocation to which they must not object.
11. Girls who are selected as Birthmothers have three births, then they are made Laborers for the rest of their lives.
12. No strong emotion must be expressed. Euphemistic language must be used
13. If someone does something that is against the rules, such as hurting another's feelings, he/she must apologize.
14. Rules must always be followed
15. If people disobey the rules of their society for three times, they are released.
16. Natural sexual urges are forbidden. At puberty children are given pills that control their hormonal urges.
17. It is forbidden to look upon another person's nakedness.
18. There are boundaries to the community that must not be crossed.
19. If anyone sees a jet flying overhead, he/she must run for cover and hide.
20. A person called the Giver holds the memories of the history of the community and of the feelings and conditions that have been eliminated in the society.
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