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In The Giver children are appointed to occupations when they turn twelve years old. At that point, they participate in the Ceremony of Twelve and are given instructions they will use to begin their training. When Jonas receives his instructions, many are typical directions on where to go and what to do.
Jonas is surprised that he will have no free time. He is startled that he is exempted from restrictions against rudeness. But it’s the last instruction that stops Jonas in his tracks.
You may lie.
This instruction sends Jonas reeling. He wonders what makes him so special, that he may lie. He wonders what he might lie about. He considers that others might also have received the same instruction.
There are several reasons why the ability to lie frightens Jonas. The Community tightly controls precision of language. Saying the right thing and telling the truth is very important to them. Jonas is also afraid because the ability to lie sets him apart. He begins to realize just how different he is now, and how much his life is about to change.
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