In The Giver by Lois Lowry, why does Jonas feel "separateness" after the ceremony?

Jonas feels "separateness" after the ceremony because he has been identified as different from his peers and given the special honor of being the community's next Receiver. Jonas has also been informed that he will be training alone and apart from his friends, which contributes to his feeling of "separateness."

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There are a few factors which lead to Jonas feeling alone or separated after the Ceremony of Twelve, during which he learns that he is to be the next Receiver.

First, he is given his assignment in a folder, which means that no one else hears his instructions and he cannot share this new responsibility, or even the knowledge that comes with it, with anyone.

Second, the fact that there is only one Giver at a time means that this is a journey he will be going on "separate" from his peers. This is exacerbated by the fact that he is forbidden from discussing anything about his training with others in the days to come.

Third, as the new Receiver, Jonas has to singlehandedly bear significant emotional pain, as he now becomes the only person in his community to have the memories, both good and bad, of what has happened in the past.

Once he has been bestowed with all these memories, he experiences the full spectrum of emotions—from pain to pleasure and sadness to joy—which none of the youngsters with whom he has grown up have any inkling of.

The only exception to Jonas' isolation is the relationship he builds with the former Receiver, and the two become very close.

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During the annual December ceremony, Jonas is astonished and disheartened when the Chief Elder skips his name while she continues to give the rest of his peers their Assignments. In chapter 8, the Chief Elder informs the community that she has purposely skipped Jonas's name because he has been specially selected to be the community's next Receiver of Memory, which is an honorable, distinguished titled. The Chief Elder proceeds to elaborate on Jonas's rare qualities and identifies him as being different when she mentions that he possesses the Capacity to See Beyond. In addition to singling Jonas out from his peers and announcing his special ability, the Chief Elder also informs Jonas that his training will be alone and apart.

Following the ceremony, Jonas experiences the feeling of being separate from his peers, family, and community members. In Jonas's society, individuality is nonexistent and citizens view themselves as a part of a larger, functioning group. Being singled out from the group is an uncommon, awkward experience for Jonas and he can tell that his peers view him differently. After the ceremony, people watch Jonas curiously, whisper about him, and feel uncertain around him. Even Asher struggles to treat Jonas the same following his selection. Jonas experiences the overwhelming feeling of "separateness" because he has been singled out from the group, identified as different, and will be training apart from his peers.

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After the ceremony Jonas feels "separateness" because he alone has been assigned the role of Receiver. He notices, too, that people move aside for him, and they react differently toward him now that he has been selected for his new role. The Elder has publicly pointed out his sterling qualities and his possession of the “Capacity to See Beyond.”  

Before his name is called, Jonas listens as the Chief Elder explains that the Receiver-in-training cannot be observed by others or modified while he is being prepared for the most honored job in the community. "Alone? Apart? Jonas listened with increasing unease" (Ch.8).

Holding the folder that has been given to him, Jonas leaves the Auditorium. When he makes his way through the crowd, looking for his family unit, people step aside and watch Jonas and whisper. After he finds his friend Asher, Jonas asks him to ride back with him; Asher hesitates before agreeing. Things just are not quite the same, Jonas notes.

When Jonas finds only a short list of duties, he is stunned. The fact that he is allowed things heretofore forbidden (such as "you may lie") shocks Jonas. He finds that he has no time for recreation, either, so he wonders what will happen to his friendships with Asher and others. The weight of these new duties and his being singled out for the highest position in the community cause Jonas to feel that he is separated from his former life of friendships, lessons, and games.

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For starters, the council didn't do much to prepare Jonas for the shock of his calling; that would make anyone feel isolated. When they were giving out jobs to all of the twelves, they purposefully skip him and allow him to sit anxiously in wait for his fate. That was merely the beginning of what would soon come, though. As Jonas learns about being the Receiver, he becomes even more isolated and different from what anyone else in the community could possibly understand. Jonas may feel a little bit of a sense of importance, but the lack of understanding, the ambiguity of the situation, rather, helped to create more of void between him and the rest of the twelves. Since his parents hadn't ever experienced what he went through during the ceremony, they too could not soothe him, comfort him, nor explain what was happening to him. It must feel so lonely to go through an experience that no other person in your surrounding community can possibly understand. Luckily, once he meets the Giver, he finds one person who actually can identify with his plight, as well as teach him how to weather the storms of that foreordained life as the Receiver.

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