In The Giver, who are the people who care for others, closely monitor people, provide others with essential needs and are learning? How can they achieve a Utopian society?
There are different types of caretakers in Jonas’s community. The Nurturers take care of infants in their first year. Babies are born to Birthmothers and assigned to family units at the Ceremony of One. From that point, mother and father figures take care of the children until they leave the family unit. There are also caretakers for the Old, who take care of the elderly before they are released.
Elders are the ones who observe the community and make sure the rules are enforced. They assign jobs to the Twelves and create family units by matching spouses and assigning them children.
During the past year he had been aware of the increasing level of observation. In school, at recreation time, and during volunteer hours, he had noticed the Elders watching him and the other Elevens. He had seen them taking notes. (Ch. 2)
Elders observe the general goings-on in the community, and they make changes to the rules if they are necessary. If the Elders need help making a decision, they confer with the Receiver of Memory. The Receiver only advises. He does not have any actual power, even though it is considered a position of great honor.
The needs of everyone in the community are provided for. Everyone gets food, medication, clothing, and everything else from the community. Jonas describes the community’s furniture.
Furniture was standard throughout the community: practical, sturdy, the function of each piece clearly defined. A bed for sleeping. A table for eating. A desk for studying. (Ch. 10)
The children are learning until they have finished training for their assignments. From age Three to Eleven, they are in formal school. After school they are cared for at the Recreation Centers. At age Twelve, the children are given assignments and then become apprentices. The training completion depends on the level of technical expertise needed for the assignment, but the children slowly attend regular school less and job training more.
The community decided at some point in the past that they could achieve a Utopia, or perfect world, through Sameness. This essentially means that there are strict rules for behavior and expectations for citizens, and anyone who does not fit in is eliminated. They decided lethal injection, called release, was the most efficient way.