What indicates the highest degree of disgrace in Jonas' Community?In Lois Lowry's dystopian novel 'The Giver.'

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parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

AT first glance one might think that being "released" is the most severe punishment one can receive, but this is not so.

The worst thing that can happen to a member of the Community is to be "excommunicated" and then forgotten forever. Such was the case of Rosemary, a person in training to be the next Giver (as Jonas) who could not bear the burden of her role and asked for release. Later Jonas sees the film recording of Rosemary injecting herself with a lethal substance as her way "out" of a no win/no win dilemma.

After Rosemary's release, it was forbidden for any newchild to bear the name "Rosemary" and the memory of her was intentionally "forgotten" forever. A new law also forbade any Giver-in-training (Receiver) to even appy for "release" (suicide, under such circumstances), but Jonas finds another way to escape the Community's rigid oligarchy and to also save it from itself.