Who is NOT released from the community in The Giver?

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The Receiver of Memory is not released from the community.

Every citizen is released from the community at some point.  When a person gets old enough that they consider him or her no longer valuable, and they have decided the person has lived long enough, he or she is released.  Of course, you could be released before you get old.  Some are released as infants, and some are released for breaking rules.  The one person who is not released is the Receiver, at least as long as he or she holds the job.  That would result in the disastrous consequence of memories being released to the community.

Release is a part of everyday life in the community.  Citizens of a certain age are no longer valuable.  They spend some time in the House of the Old, and then are released with a ceremony celebrating their lives.  This way, no one ever really experiences the suffering of old age, and the population is controlled.

"They told his whole life before they released him," she said. "They always do. But to be honest," she whispered with a mischievous look, "some of the tellings are a little boring. I've even seen some of the Old fall asleep during tellings… (Ch. 4)

Euthanasia is not reserved for the elderly.  The community also releases infants who do not meet its standards.  Babies who do not grow fast enough, or meet certain milestones, are quietly eliminated.  This is the fate that threatens Gabriel, but Jonas’s father for some reason tries to give him a second chance.

Of course, anyone (other than the Receiver) can be released from the community at any time for committing a crime.  This is what happens to the pilot who accidentally flies over the community.

For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure. (Ch. 1)

If you commit one big blunder, or break three smaller rules, out you go.  The death penalty is widely used against anyone who doesn’t toe the line.

It seems that you can also request release, in essence committing suicide.  This is what happens to Rosemary.  She could not bear the pain of the memories, and requested release.  The community learned then that the Receiver of Memory should never be released, no matter how little training the person has.  Even a few memories are devastating.

This is because the Receiver of Memory contains all of the community’s pain and suffering.  The personal also contains all of the community’s memories of emotions, such as love and happiness.  If something happens to the Receiver, those memories return to the community. 

"The community lost Rosemary after five weeks and it was a disaster for them. I don't know what the community would do if they lost you." (Ch. 18)

The community is not prepared to handle them.  That’s why there is a Receiver in the first place.  For this reason, after Rosemary’s suicide a rule was added that no Receiver of memory can apply for release.  That also means that one will not be released for punishment.  They are given a lot of leeway for following rules anyway.

Once the new Receiver is trained, the old Receiver becomes the Giver.  The Giver slowly gives memories to the Receiver, and then I suppose the Giver can be released.  However, in Jonas’s case he leaves before the training is done, thus returning the memories to the community. The Giver could not be released in this case, because he was needed to help them through it.  Even if the community wanted to punish the old man by releasing him, it would not have dared.

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