Which three community rules does Jonas break while escaping in The Giver?

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Jonas was out at night, stole food, and stole his father’s bike.

Jonas has broken three rules when he escapes with Gabriel.  In Jonas’s community, when a person breaks three rules, he is released.  Jonas counts the rules that he breaks as he escapes, knowing that he is writing his own death sentence.  Gabriel is already condemned.

It was not safe to spend time looking back. He thought of the rules he had broken so far: enough that if he were caught, now, he would be condemned. (Ch.  21)

The first rule that he breaks is being outside of his house at night, which he describes as a “major transgression.”  Second, he takes food with him, just leftovers, but he describes that as “a serious crime.”  Food is tightly controlled in the community.

The last thing he did was take his father’s bicycle.  The reason he took his father’s bicycle instead of using his own was that he needed to have a way to carry Gabe.

He had hesitated for a moment, standing beside the bikeport in the darkness, not wanting anything of his father's and uncertain, as well, whether he could comfortably ride the larger bike when he was so accustomed to his own. (Ch. 21)

Jonas had originally had such a good plan. He worked it out with The Giver, and it involved his help.  However, when he found out that Gabe was going to be released, Jonas had to escape early, at night, with next to no plan at all.  The Giver would just have to improvise when Jonas was found missing.

The fact that the community would release someone as important as Jonas is proof that they take their rules very seriously.  Three rules broken means release.  Jonas seems to feel that this applies to him too, even as important as he is.

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In The Giver by Lois Lowry, what are five rules of the community in which Jonas lives?

The Giver (Lowry) is a story about a community that is kept in order with many rules and few choices.  We learn about some of these in the first few chapters, even on the very first page.  Let's go over five of them.

First, this is a community in which it is against the rules for a pilot to fly an airplane overhead.  We learn, in fact, that a pilot who does so is released, and while we don't know exactly what that means, we are privy to Jonas' thoughts, that this is "...a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure" (Lowry 3).

Second, there is a rule in school that requires students to apologize publicly if they are late.  Jonas' friend Asher is late for school and he must stand up at his seat to tell his classmates he is sorry for "inconveniencing my learning community" (3).

Third, there are rules governing the justice dispensed in the community when people break the rules.  Jonas' mother, who works for the Department of Justice, must follow the sentencing rules. She must release those who have violated the rules a third time, whether she wants to or not. At this point, we still do not know what release is, but we do know the very idea of it makes Jonas shiver.

Fourth, there is a rule regarding the naming of infants. They must not be named until it has been determined that they are to be kept and placed in a household.  Before that point, they are given numbers.  For example, Lily had been "Newchild Twenty-three" (13).  Remarkably, Jonas' father breaks this rule for a child he is nurturing, by giving him the name Gabe.

Fifth, the children in the community are not, by rule, permitted to ride bicycles until they are nine years old. This rule, though, is frequently broken, since older siblings are always helping younger siblings learn to ride before they are Nines. 

There are many more rules the community must adhere to in this story. These are just a few that the people must obey, a means of keeping the community under control in every facet of their lives, from public safety to the naming of children.

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