What do the following details from chapter one tell you about the community Jonas lives in? Jonas was frightened when he saw a jet fly overhead. Jonas and his sister don't know what animals...

What do the following details from chapter one tell you about the community Jonas lives in?

  • Jonas was frightened when he saw a jet fly overhead.
  • Jonas and his sister don't know what animals are.
  • Boys and girls are referred to as "male" and "female."
  • New children don't spend their first year with their families.
  • It is rare to have visits from other people in the community.
Expert Answers
litgeek2015 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
  • Jonas was frightened when he saw a jet fly overhead. This tells us that the community might be very isolated. While we might also wonder if they have this technology themselves, we can at least assume that they have distinct boundaries from other communities and this is not allowed for whatever reason. That they do not allow anyone in their airspace seems very isolationistic.
  • Jonas and his sister don't know what animals are. There are, apparently, no animals anymore in the community. Perhaps the community has deemed them necessary. This means that there is an entire portion of the ecosystem and food chain that no longer exists within the community, either. It is not easy to get rid of animals, so one has to wonder how and why this was accomplished.
  • Boys and girls are referred to as "male" and "female." Individualism is not valued in the community, and "male" and "female" are distinctions that generalize everyone. While everyone does has his or her own names, even those are designated by the community. "Male" and "female" also takes away much emotion. It is a classification.
  • New children don't spend their first year with their families. In our world, parent/child bonding is incredibly important. We place a lot of significance on young babies being with their parents so they can learn and develop naturally. The community has gone against nature in that sense. By taking the babies away from their birth mothers and not assigning them yet to a family until up to a year after they are born, the community places more importance on uniformity and routine than it does the bonding and development of individuals.
  • It is rare to have visits from other people in the community. Again, the community is very isolated. It seems to function its own very successfully and has created ways to do this. We see this through their very expansive genetic engineering.
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The Giver

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