Chapter 4 Notes from The Giver

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The Giver Chapter 4

On his way to do volunteering, Jonas thinks that he has always liked being able to choose how to spend his volunteer hours because the rest of his hours are always so "carefully regulated."

Topic Tracking: Choice 1

Jonas thinks about another male Eleven named Benjamin. According to rumors, Benjamin has been volunteering at the Rehabilitation Center for four years. Over the years, he has accumulated enough skills that he will surely receive his Assignment there when the time comes. Jonas has never talked to Benjamin about his accomplishments, however, because it would be breaking the rules against bragging. It is hard to talk about one's successes without breaking this small rule.

Topic Tracking: Rules 11

Jonas rides the bicycle to the House of the Old where he sees Asher and Fiona's bicycles parked outside. A female Eleven, Fiona is Jonas's friend. Entering the building, Jonas is greeted by an attendant, and Jonas signs in his volunteering hours which will be recorded at the Hall of Open Records. Long time ago, an Eleven was said to not have completed his required volunteer hours. He had not been able to receive his Assignment during the Ceremony in December, and it had been "a disgrace."

Topic Tracking: Rules 12

The attendant suggests that Jonas join Asher and Fiona in the bathing room. On his way to the bathing room, Jonas looks around the house which is "a serene and slow-paced place" whose residents lead quiet, peaceful lives. As he enters the bathing room, Jonas sees his friends. He approaches an old woman who is one of the many waiting to be helped with bathing. He greets the woman whose nametag reads "Larissa". After filling the tub with water, Jonas helps the woman get in and washes her with soap. People in the community are prohibited from looking at each other's nakedness, but the newchildren and the Old are exempt from the rule.

Topic Tracking: Rules 13

"He [likes] the feeling of safety here in this warm and quiet room; he [likes] the expression of trust on the woman's face as she [lies] in the water unprotected, exposed, and free." Chapter 4, pg. 30

During her bath, Larissa tells Jonas about the release of Roberto that was celebrated earlier that day. Roberto's whole life as an Instructor of Elevens, a member of the Planning Committee, and a father of two children had been told before he was released. Larissa continues by explaining that there are occasionally boring life tellings like that of Edna who was released recently. A Birthmother and a Laborer, Edna had not even had a family unit of her own. When Jonas asks her to tell him more about the celebration, Larissa says that after the telling of one's life, there is a toast followed by a chanting of the anthem and speeches. No one knows exactly where one goes after the release, but Larissa tells Jonas that Roberto had looked happy.

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