What did the family have to do in order for Gabriel to be allowed extra nurturing in The Giver?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas’s father makes a request to take Gabriel home and then asks for an additional year of nurturing.

Gabriel is a baby Newchild who is not growing as fast as he should, even though he has been in the “extra care section for supplementary nurturing” (ch 1, p. 7).  This demonstrates that Jonas’s father is concerned about the baby, and that people in the community do try to save babies before they throw them out.

I may ask the committee for permission to bring him here at night, if you don't mind. You know what the night-crew Nurturers are like. I think this little guy needs something extra." (ch 1, pp. 7-8)

Gabe needs to meet strict developmental milestones or he will be released.  Jonas’s father is concerned, so he peeks at his name even though babies are not named until the Ceremony of One, because he thinks calling him by his name might “enhance his nurturing” (ch 2, p. 12).

In the community, the committee of elders makes all of the important decisions.  It is actually very rare for a Nurturer to be able to take a baby home.  This demonstrates that Jonas’s father is respected in the community.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.