What is a summary of The Giver from chapters 1-7?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapters 1-7, Jonas describes his everyday life and attends the Ceremony of Twelve.

In the beginning, Jonas is worried about the upcoming Ceremony of Twelve.  It is an important milestone in his life, a rite of passage where he will be assigned a career and take the first steps to becoming an adult.  He is nervous, and his parents reassure him.  They are not his biological parents.  Every child is raised by a man and a woman who form a family unit for two children, a boy and a girl.

Jonas seems to have a typical life.  His father is a Nurturer and his family of one boy and one girl is joined temporarily by a year old baby boy named Gabriel.  His mother works for the Department of Justice, and both of his parents enforce the rules and procedures of the community perfectly.  Jonas attends school and plays with his friend Asher.

One day, Jonas is playing catch with Asher.  As they are tossing an apple back and forth, Jonas notices the apple change.  He is not sure what it means, and Asher did not notice anything.

When the Ceremony of Twelve comes around, each of Jonas’s classmates is called forward and given an assignment.  When it is Jonas’s turn, the Chief Elder skips him.  Jonas is very worried.

But she had skipped him. He saw the others in his group glance at him, embarrassed, and then avert their eyes quickly. He saw a worried look on the face of his group leader. (Ch. 7, p. 57)

The reader does not find out until the next chapter that Jonas was skipped for a good reason.  He was selected as the new Receiver of Memory, which is a very prestigious assignment.  Jonas was not expecting the honor though, and spends a few uncomfortable minutes thinking he did something wrong.

The exposition of the story very carefully introduces the world of the community to the reader.  As the reader slowly realizes that the book is science fiction, more and more strange things happen.  The end of Chapter 7 is one of the most suspenseful  parts of the book, because the reader is not sure what has happened to Jonas and if something is really wrong.  

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (p. 57). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 1: Jonas struggles to find the right word to describe his feelings for the upcoming Ceremony of Twelve. His structured community is described, and a pilot is "released" for accidentally flying over the community. The family shares their feelings at the dinner table.

Chapter 2. Jonas's father reassures his son that it is alright to be apprehensive about the Ceremony of Twelve, and more information about the structured community is provided. The reader learns that each year fifty babies are added to the community and that the elders assign children their occupations at the age of twelve.

Chapter 3. Jonas notices that Gabriel has pale eyes and remembers an incident when he was chastised for hoarding snacks. Jonas then recalls playing catch with an apple and seeing it change in midair. Jonas does not know it yet, but he is watching the apple turn red.

Chapter 4. Jonas volunteers at the House of Old, where an older woman that he is bathing tells him about the "release" of an older man. Jonas then wonders why children are not allowed to watch people being released.

Chapter 5. Jonas recalls having a sexually arousing dream involving Fiona, and his parents make him take pills for the "Stirrings."

Chapter 6. The entire community attends the ceremonies, and Jonas watches as new babies get their names and are given to certain families. Jonas and his family have to sign a document saying they will not get emotionally attached to Gabriel. Day two of the ceremonies begin, and Jonas is nervous about his upcoming Assignment.

Chapter 7. The Ceremony of Twelve begins, and Jonas watches as the other children receive their Assignments from the Chief Elder. However, the Chief Elder purposely skips over Jonas, which makes him extremely nervous.

amysor | Student

On enotes.com we have detailed summaries on the enotes.com study guide for "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. It includes detailed summaries for ALL of the chapters. Check it out!