In The Giver, what did Jonas tell The Giver he wanted to see?

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In The Giver, Jonas wanted to see a ceremony of release.  He wondered what one was like, because he had never seen one before. 

Jonas has never asked to see a release, because it is “private” and children are not allowed to see the ceremonies.  The Giver explains that Jonas can ask anyone anything.

You have access to everything. It's part of your training. If you want to watch a release, you have simply to ask." (ch 19, p. 147)

Jonas is curious, because he has feelings now and is beginning to wonder about the general subject of release.  When he sees the ceremony of the release of the newborn twin, and watches his father murder the baby, he is shocked and horrified.   It takes him a moment to recognize death.

With an odd, shocked feeling, Jonas recognized the gestures and posture and expression. They were familiar. He had seen them before. (ch 19, p. 150)

Jonas is never the same after seeing his father kill the baby.  He decides that his community is far from perfect.  Horrible things are allowed to happen.  To prevent this, he plans to leave and return the memories to the people.


Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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