How could readers react to the way family units are formed in Jonas's community?

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Family units are specifically structured to ensure complete obedience to the rules and laws of the community. Since everyone takes pills to suppress the Stirrings, husbands and wives are not married to procreate, but to effectively teach their children how to be obedient and contributing future citizens. Couples are selected...

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Family units are specifically structured to ensure complete obedience to the rules and laws of the community. Since everyone takes pills to suppress the Stirrings, husbands and wives are not married to procreate, but to effectively teach their children how to be obedient and contributing future citizens. Couples are selected specifically for effectiveness; and when they want children, they must apply for them. Children are placed with couples within the year that they are born and only when they can sleep through the night and meet weight requirements. When children grow up and obtain their own dwellings, they never see their parents again. Jonas explains what will happen next for his parents:

"As long as they're still working and contributing to the community, they'll go and live with the other Childless Adults. And they won't be a part of my life anymore" (124).

Therefore, family units only exist as long as the children need adult supervision.There are no true feelings of love because of the fact that families are not created for that purpose. When Jonas receives a memory about grandparents, for instance, he discovers the loving bonds that can exist between family members. Jonas tries to explain the feeling that he felt with the memory of grandparents as follows:

"'The family in the memory seemed a little more--He faltered, not able to find the word he wanted.

'A little more complete,' The Giver suggested.

Jonas nodded. 'I liked the feeling of love'" (126).

Unfortunately, family units in Jonas's community are only formed for practical reasons, not for love. Family relationships do not continue after rearing children and then adults live as singles again. This does not seem like a satisfying lifestyle. Most people marry for love and have children because they want to create families formed from that love. Only in families can we experience love and respect for different generations, as seen between grandparents and grandchildren. But in Jonas's community, everyone misses out on this experience, which is sad. 

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