What is the mood in the House of the Old in The Giver?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Let's take a look at the mood in the residence of all those who constitute the oldest portion of Jonas 's society. It's a slow-paced life in the House of the Old. When Jonas visits, he notices residents sitting quietly, some choosing to do handiwork or small crafts. Serene and...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Let's take a look at the mood in the residence of all those who constitute the oldest portion of Jonas's society. It's a slow-paced life in the House of the Old. When Jonas visits, he notices residents sitting quietly, some choosing to do handiwork or small crafts. Serene and quiet, these residents are removed from the busyness of life that exists in working and in raising children. Instead, the elderly enjoy extra sleep and the assistance of both volunteers and workers in the facility.

When Jonas arrives, he helps with the bathing of one of the elderly, a woman named Farissa. The air is warm and moist and smells like cleansing lotions. This is a relaxed time, and Farissa shares some of her reflections about recent citizens who have been released from the House of the Old, chuckling about how some of the celebrations of life are so boring that it puts the old to sleep.

Caretakers are friendly and engaging. Everyone is cordial and willing to help those who live in the House of the Old. The great irony is, of course, that the elderly are all simply awaiting their executions and don't even realize it. Eventually when their care becomes too great in the House of the Old, the staff plans a great celebration, as Farissa describes has occurred for Roberto, and then they are "released." No one seems to question what this means, but Jonas eventually learns that "release" is a softer term for "euthanize." When considered in this light, the warm mood that seems to pervade the House of the Old is a bit more ominous.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team