In chapters 4 and 5 of The Giver, how does Lowry discuss coming-of-age? Why have feelings of attraction and love been eliminated in this society?

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In chapters 4 and 5 of The Giver, Lowry discusses the theme of coming-of-age through Jonas’s memories and his dream about Fiona. In chapter 4, Jonas remembers when he was eight and free to choose where he would volunteer. As Jonas will soon turn twelve, he’s growing up. The Ceremony is approaching, and his volunteer days are almost over. Jonas reflects on how pleased he was with his choice to volunteer at several different places. His volunteer period contrasts with that of Benjamin, who volunteered exclusively at the Rehabilitation Center. There’s speculation that Benjamin is as knowledgeable as the adults in charge of the Rehabilitation Center.

The emphasis on volunteer work and job placement indicates that Jonas’s society prizes discipline and control. There’s little room for experimentation or play. Jonas’s society wants to quickly incorporate children into society and move them into a stable role.

In chapter 5, Lowry discusses coming-of-age with Jonas's sexual dream about Fiona. Lowry shows that Jonas is growing up by supplying him with “stirrings.” To suppress his feelings, Jonas’s mom gives him a pill. It’s possible to argue that Jonas’s society has eliminated feelings of attraction and love because they tend to be difficult to manage and, as Jonas’s mother says later on in chapter 16, can make it hard to “function smoothly.”

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