In The Giver, give an example of a detail in chapter 6 that tells you about the cultural setting of the story.

Expert Answers
jessecreations eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 6, we learn that anyone who feels they do not fit in with the community can apply for release, and be sent "Elsewhere."  At this point in the story, Jonas thinks that that means the person will simply go somewhere else to live in a community that is more suited to him.  However, it is important to note that later in the story we find out what release really is, and that this is a commentary about the community and how it feels about those who do not fit in.  They should be removed, permanently, so that their "otherness" doesn't affect the rest of the community.

The other part of this observation is that Jonas cannot imagine anyone who would want to be released; the community is so painstakingly organized that everyone fits in, no matter what.  The married couples are paired using significant details and compatibility measures; the children are assigned to couples to become part of a family and be raised according to strict community guidelines.  The children all grow and progress at nearly exactly the same rate, passing through community-issued milestones together, as one, like the ones in the ceremonies discussed in this chapter.  Everyone fits in because the community works so hard to ensure conformity and sameness.  This shows that in their culture, they value assimilation rather than diversity.