In The Giver by Lois Lowry, what is one way people show respect throughout the book?

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litgeek2015 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One way that the community members show respect is to apologize often for their "transgressions." Often they are apologizing for an inconvenience they have caused someone else, like arriving late somewhere or interrupting. The citizens are very, very polite in the way they communicate with one another and they choose their words very carefully. They try not to offend each other and if they do, by accident, then they immediately apologize.

In Ch. 17 Asher and Jonas exchange a few words about a game of good guys and bad guys. Jonas has asked them to stop playing it because he knows that it is based on war, and Asher does not have this context so he becomes upset at being told to stop. He tells Jonas he has no right to tell them what they can play, but he immediately apologizes,

"I apologize for not showing you the respect you deserve" (Ch. 17).

Although in our society he was only speaking his mind, in their society one must not speak against anyone who is above them in station (like Jonas is now as Receiver of Memory) and no one can say anything that might be viewed as angry, as Asher just did. So, he apologized immediately and this showed respect toward Jonas.

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The Giver

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