In The Giver, what would happen to an eleven if he did not complete his required volunteer hours before an assignment??   

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In Jonas' highly-structured community, each adolescent is required to complete a specific number of volunteer hours before they are given their assignment during the Ceremony of Twelve in front of the entire community. While the adolescents are completing their necessary volunteer hours, the Committee of Elders monitors each of them closely in order to determine what occupation best fits each adolescent. The specific number of volunteer hours that are required before the Ceremony of Twelve is not stated but Jonas is aware of what will happen if he does not complete the necessary volunteer hours. Towards the end of Chapter Five, Jonas volunteers at the House of the Old and signs his signature at the attendant's desk before entering. The narrator mentions that all of the volunteer hours are carefully tabulated and kept in the Hall of Open Records. One time, an Eleven did not complete the required number of volunteer hours and was not given an assignment during the Ceremony of Twelve. Instead, he was granted a one-month extension to complete the required volunteer hours and was given an assignment in private. One can surmise that if an Eleven does not complete the required number of volunteer hours after being given a one-month extension, they will more than likely be released.

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Jonas is feeling apprehensive before the Ceremony of Twelve (p. 9).  He shares this feeling with his family, and they reassure him that most kids do fine when they are turning twelve.  At first, Jonas does not feel ready to share his feelings because they are “complicated,” but after Lily shares he is able to.

Jonas sighed. This evening he almost would have preferred to keep his feelings hidden. But it was, of course, against the rules. (ch 1, p. 9)

Jonas has cause to be concerned.  If an Eleven does not complete the required volunteer hours he does not get an assignment.

He had been permitted an additional month in which to complete the hours, and then given his Assignment privately, with no applause, no celebration: a disgrace that had clouded his entire future. (ch 4, p. 28)

In the Community, rules are very important.  Assignments are chosen for the children when they turn twelve, and they have nothing to say about it.

 

Citation:

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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