The society uses euphemisms and labels. Find examples of these and explain why the society uses these techniques.

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator


  • The use of numbers for the children's age (and birthing order) keeps order and restricts independent nature.
  • An assignment is the prescribed form of education or employment that is handed out by the Elders. The children have no recourse once the assignmet is given.
  • The Capacity to See Beyond is a type of channeling or clairvoyance.
  • Sameness is the prescribed law of non-individuality. 


  • Death (and prescribed murder) is referred to as releasing, a word that certainly gives a more sympathetic treatment to the act.
  • The Elders are actually a dictatorial tribunal who decide the fate of everyone in the community. 
  • The House of the Old is really a last-stop nursing home where the elderly reside before they are released.
  • The Releasing Room is the death chamber, not unlike a prison facility's room for executions.
  • Stirrings are, of course, sexual urges--highly frowned upon in this society.
  • Nurturer is a combination baby-sitter/surrogate mother (or father) and executioner.
  • Elsewhere is the world where outcasts supposedly go. In reality, they are murdered, but Jonas discovers at the end that there really is an Elsewhere. 
  • The Matches of Spouses is an alternate wording for an arranged marriage.
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


In this society, they talk about "releasing" people.  They do this because they do not want people to understand the truth of what is going on.  The truth might upset people and cause them to have emotions.



I think what you mean by this is like how Jonas is "a twelve" -- not that he's twelve years old.  This is done to make the people in the society seem more uniform and less like individuals.  We say Jonas is part of some group (12s) rather than focusing on something that is about him.