What assignments do Elevens receive at the Ceremony of Twelve in The Giver?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The range of Assignments given to the Elevens at the Ceremony of Twelve include pretty much any job you can think of which would be essential in the smooth running of the Community.  The first one mentioned in the book, of course, is Pilot, a position held by the unfortunate individual who inadvertently flies over restricted airspace and receives the ultimate punishment, Release (Chapter 1).

Early in the book, Jonas has a discussion with his parents about the upcoming Ceremonies.  His parents reminisce about Assignments given to their group when they were Twelves.  In addition to the assignments of Nurturer and the position at the Department of Justice received by Jonas' father and mother respectively, one girl, Yoshiko, was selected to be a Doctor, while another boy, Andrei, received the Assignment of Engineer.  He later went on to design "the bridge that crosses the river to the west of town", a structure that hadn't been there when Jonas' parents were children (Chapter 2). 

A number of other possible Assignments are described during the actual Ceremonies, when Jonas' group is the focus of attention as this year's Twelves.  The first girl called up, Madeline, will be a Fish Hatchery Attendant, and will participate "in the important process of providing nourishment for the Community.  The second girl, Inger, will be a Birthmother, while a third individual, a boy named Isaac, is assigned to be an Instructor of Sixes.  Jonas' friend Asher is named as Assistant Director of Recreation, and other Assignments given out include Doctor, Engineer, worker for Law and Justice, and Laborer.  Fiona, another of Jonas' close friends, receives the Assignment of Caretaker of the Old (Chapter 7).

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial