In Jonas's community, which is founded on the concepts and ideology of Sameness, the Committee of Elders makes every significant decision in the citizens' lives, including what their future occupations will be once they turn twelve years old. The Committee of Elders closely monitors and analyzes each child's progress, interests, and abilities at school and during their volunteers hours in the community. They also take into consideration each child's personality, talent, and intelligence to match them with a perfect occupation or Assignment tailored to their individual capabilities and interests. During the annual Ceremony of Twelve, the Chief Elder gives each twelve-year-old citizen their Assignment in front of the community. At the beginning of the story, Jonas anxiously awaits the Ceremony of Twelve and has no idea what Assignment he will be given. During the ceremony, Jonas's name is intentionally skipped before he learns that he will be the community's next Receiver of Memory. The rest of Jonas's peers are given regular Assignments, which best fit their personalities and abilities. As the novel progresses, Jonas's Assignment transforms his outlook on life and perspective of his community.