What are the unique aspects about Jonas's community in The Giver (by Lois Lowry)?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many aspect of Jonas's society that make it different than anything we have ever experienced. 

First, Jonas's society is a place where there is an absence of war, pain, fear, and hatred. In order to accomplish this, society is engineered and people are made to follow the rules. But the oddest thing is that they want to follow the rules; in short, they are brainwashed. 

Second, at the age of twelve, members of Jonas's society are given an occupation. The elders of the society give roles, and the people receive them. This is very different than our world, where we choose. Choosing does not exists in Jonas's world.

Third, another unique aspect of Jonas's world is that people's perception is dulled. In fact, no one sees in color. Perception has been dulled to control everyone's minds. 

Finally, there is what is called a "releasing" in Jonas's society where "unwanted" people are discarded, even babies like Gabriel. In fact, this pending act drives the book, as Jonas escapes to save Gabriel. 

In short, this world, which seems perfect, is far from perfect. 

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the unique aspects of Jonas's community listed above, in this community, couples do not simply procreate and produce children of their own that they then raise. In fact, spouses do not get to choose one another either—they are matched up. Then they can apply for children.  

Also, the ruling body is called the Committee of Elders, and it is these individuals that assign the twelve-year-old children to their occupations.  This committee makes the rules, which are then shared via loudspeaker in both public spaces and private homes. Jonas is assigned to a particular and unusual job: the Receiver of Memory. In the absence of war and pain and even strong positive emotions in the community, it is Jonas alone who gains access to these feelings and memories. It is then that Jonas comes to understand that his community has given up great joy so that it does not have to feel terrible pain, and this is why everyone is the same. Certainly, this absence of strong feeling makes the community unique.