How do people feel about mothering?

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In Jonas 's highly-structured community, which is founded on the concepts of Sameness, the Committee of Elders is responsible for creating family units by matching compatible spouses and approving their applications for children. Each family is only allowed to have one boy and one girl. The Committee of Elders also...

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In Jonas's highly-structured community, which is founded on the concepts of Sameness, the Committee of Elders is responsible for creating family units by matching compatible spouses and approving their applications for children. Each family is only allowed to have one boy and one girl. The Committee of Elders also has the authority of regulating the birthrate, which is currently set at fifty newchildren per year. In Jonas's society, certain women are carefully selected to be Birthmothers. Birthmothers are the community's designated biological mothers, who give birth to the community's newchildren but do not raise or care for them. Nurturers, like Jonas's father, are responsible for raising the newchildren.

In chapter three, Lily mentions to her mother that she hopes that she will be assigned as a Birthmother when she turns twelve years old. Jonas's mother immediately chastises Lily for wishing to be a Birthmother and says that there is "very little honor in that Assignment." Lily's mother proceeds to explain that Birthmothers are pampered and enjoy lives of leisure for only three years. After three years, the Birthmothers are then assigned to be Laborers for the remainder of their lives. Lily's mother then asks her daughter, "Is that what you want, Lily? Three lazy years, and then hard physical labor until you are old?" (Lowry, 14). Judging from Lily's mother's reaction and comments, Birthmothers are not respected members of the community. They are simply responsible for giving birth to healthy, capable children, who are raised and cared for by Nurturers until the Committee of Elders assigns them to approved families. Overall, Birthmothers are not highly respected or revered by the community members and live difficult, arduous lives after they give birth. Parent's like Lily's mother wish for their children to be assigned honorable positions that are respected throughout the community.

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