The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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What is the cliffhanger in chapter 2 of The Giver?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write6,429 answers

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I don't think that "cliffhanger" is necessarily the best way to describe various points in this chapter or even the end of the chapter. The chapter ends in almost the exact same way that Chapter 1 ends. Jonas is concerned about the the Ceremony of the Twelve. At the end of Chapter 1, we know that Jonas is "apprehensive" about it, and we don't know why. Chapter 2 answers a lot of reader questions about that particular ceremony. It is the ceremony that tells each 12 year old what their assigned career in the community is going to be. Jonas's parents do a lot of reminiscing about their own ceremony and how much they now enjoy their career. His parents are also quite reassuring to Jonas that the Elders do a good job of making sure the job fits with the person and vice versa. Jonas is comforted, but the chapter does end with him still feeling unsure about whether or not his future assignment will be a good fit.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 2 concerns Jonas's upcoming assignment that he will be given during the Ceremony of Twelve. In Chapter 1, Jonas is apprehensive and worried about the upcoming ceremony because he has no idea what occupation the Committee of Elders will assign him. In Chapter 2, Jonas's parents attempt to calm his nerves and reassure him that everything will work out perfect because the Committee of Elders knows exactly what they're doing. However, Jonas does not have a specific preference for his future occupation, which is why he is so anxious. The fact that Jonas is still unsure about his future assignment is the cliffhanger at the end of chapter 2. In Jonas's structured community, independent choice does not exist, and every significant decision is made by the Committee of Elders. Later on in the novel, Jonas receives his assignment and is selected to be the community's next Receiver of Memory because he possesses the Capacity to See Beyond.

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Well, it is pretty low key as cliffhangers go, but it is Jonas wondering what his Assignment (his chosen career) will be. The ceremony at which they are announced is coming up, and he doesn't have a clear leaning like some others.

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