What were the rules of Jonas' list?  

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas is given a list of eight rules when he is chosen as the Receiver of Memory.  His reaction is some surprise and some concern.

First, he is instructed to go to a separate entrance behind the House of the Old each day after school and present himself to an attendant there.  He is not pleased about this because it seems that it means giving up all of his recreational time.

Second, he is told to go home at the end of his Training Hours as the Receiver. This, too, seems to eliminate any free time he would have otherwise.

Third, he is told he is exempted from the rules of the community to not be rude, that he may question anyone about anything, and that he will receive answers to his questions. This seems like a rule that involves not only Jonas, but also the entire community, since everyone will have to respond to any questions he has.  This is a surprising rule to Jonas because he is simply not in the habit of being rude or asking anyone an impertinent or overly personal question.  But he decides that since the rule does not require him to be rude, he won't trouble himself about it. 

Fourth, he is told he may not discuss any of his training with anyone in the community, including his parents and the Elders.  He does not seem to have any particular response to this rule when he first reads it.

Fifth, he is prohibited from dream-telling, which is a nightly ritual required by his parents and we can presume, required of everyone in the community.  He struggles with this a bit, not knowing how to handle it with his parents, whether to lie or to simply decline to share his dreams. 

Sixth, Jonas is no longer permitted to apply for medication, unless it relates to a need for medication from an injury or illness that is not related to his training.  This is troubling, since pain medication for injuries is routinely given, and Jonas has no desire to be in any pain. The other medication that he takes, for his Stirrings, he decides is unrelated to his training.

Seventh, Jonas is not allowed to apply for Release.  Since it has never occurred to Jonas to do so and he has no clue what awaits him, he doesn't think very much about this rule at all.

Eighth, remarkably, Jonas is now permitted to lie.  This is a horrifying idea.  Jonas has never lied. No one he knows has ever lied. But now he is concerned that others in the community, upon the Ceremony of Twelves, may have received this permission, too.  He could ask people, of course, if they lied, but he would not know if their responses were truthful.

These then are the rules that govern all of Jonas' training as the Receiver of Memories. This is a simple list of rules, but really, a very complicated one, too.