In The Giver, what did the family have to do in order for Gabriel to be allowed a second year of nurturing? (located in chapters 6-12)

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the futuristic community described in The Giver, it was the tradition that all odd personalities contrary to the society’s norm be “released.” These included the elderly, rule-breakers, or children whose development did not meet community standards. Even after supplementary nurturing in the extra care section, Gabriel’s growth rate, as well as his sleep pattern, remained wanting. Consequently, he could not be assigned to a family unit with his peers during the Naming and Placement ceremony, leaving the committee with no choice other than one to “release.” However, due to the compassion Jonas’s father had for Gabriel, he successfully sought reprieve from the committee and earned Gabriel an additional year to undergo nurturing. He was convinced that Gabriel had potential and could fit in if given the right care.

For Gabriel to be placed under the full care of Jonas’s family, each of the family members, Lily included, was required to sign an agreement stating that they would not get attached to Gabriel. Also, they had to agree that none of them would complain after one year, when Gabriel would be assigned his family unit.

jessecreations eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The whole family had to sign contracts saying they wouldn't grow too attached to him if he continued to stay at their house in the evenings.  They had to say that they would willingly give him up the next year when it was time for him to be given to a "real" family at the naming ceremony.  This way, they would ensure he would be nurtured, but they weren't trying to break rules by getting a third child of their own.