What is the label on the special door at the House of the Old in The Giver?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "special door" at the House of the Old is in the Releasing Room.  According to Larissa, one of the residents there, no one knows exactly what happens beyond that door, and as far as I can tell, there is no label on the door which might provide them with a clue.

When it is time for one of the residents of the House of the Old to be released, a ceremony is held in honor of that person.  The residents gather in the Releasing Room, at whose entry there most likely is a label telling the name.  In ther Releasing Room, there is a "telling" about the person's life, after which everyone offers a toast and cheers.  The Community's anthem is then chanted, and the person to be released gives a good-bye speech.  Those among the onlookers who wish to do so can make little speeches of good wishes as well. 

When the celebration is over, the actual release occurs, with the person being released bowing to the audience and walking through "the special door in the Releasing Room".  Readers know that beyond that door, the person is essentially given a lethal injection and put to death, but as far as citizens like Larissa are concerned, no one knows exactly what happens beyond the special door, and for the most part, no one thinks to wonder.  Although the book does not state that there is a label on the special door, I would imagine that if there were, it might read "Elsewhere".  In the understanding of the people in the Community, that is where those who are released are sent (Chapter 4).