In The Giver by Lois Lowry, why doesn't Jonas have an idea about what his assignment will be?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas experiences feelings of apprehension in the months leading up to the ceremony when he will find out his career assignment.  He is not exactly sure why he has these feelings of uncertainty.  During a conversation with his parents, his father mentions that there is an "element of suspense... with [Jonas'] Ceremony."  His father explains that he did not experience this himself as a boy because he and his parents were fairly confident of what his Assignment would be.  He had gravitated toward caring for newchildren during his volunteer time.  This was "what [his] aptitude was."

This sort of aptitude is not something experienced by Jonas.  He does not know what his Assignment will be.  He does not even have "the slightest idea what Assignment the Elders [will] be selecting for his future."  Some of the other children who are the same age as Jonas have been performing their volunteer work at a specific place or in a certain field.  Jonas had "chosen to do his hours in a variety of places so that he could experience the differences."  He soon realizes that because of his decision, he is not sure of where his career path will lead him.