At what age do the children in The Giver get their comfort object taken away?

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Lily's mother tells her that she will have to give up her comfort object at the age of eight.  She is trying to wean her from it already, saying,"You should be starting to go off to sleep without it" (18).  The comfort object will be taken away, to be given to a younger child.  Whether Lily or any other eight-year-old is emotionally ready for this is not a consideration in the community. It is a firm rule, not taking into account that children all develop at very different rates, just as none of the rules takes into account that young people may not all be ready at the same age to be channeled into one particular career path.  None of the Community's arrangements takes into account anyone's developmental differences, needs, or preferences. This is a sad little detail in the story, and it is easy to picture eight-year-old Lily crying herself to sleep without her teddy bear. 

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