Why did Jonas's family have a third child, Gabe? Wasn't there only supposed to be one boy and one girl in each family in The Giver?

Expert Answers
stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The guidelines for family units in the community limit set a limit of one boy and one girl for each family. However, Jonas's father's job was to be a nurturer for the infants in the community. He received permission to bring Gabe into their family dwelling for special attention because he was not thriving in the usual nursery setting. Jonas finds himself enjoying having the infant to observe and help care for in the home and is concerned when Gabe's condition does not appear to be improving with acceptable speed. Jonas is unable to accept the impersonal and uncaring manner in which children are "released" if they do not grow according to the expected norms, and determines to flee the community with Gabe in order to save his life.

winthrop121 | Student

Jonas's family did not have Gabe. Under special curcumstances he was allowed to be cared for by Jonas's family even though they already had the maximum child limit of one boy and one girl. Jonas's father received special permission to take Gabe home and raise him until he met the standard weight requirement, as Jonas's father was Nurturer. If they hadn't took care of Gabe, he would have been released.