The Giver Chapter 9
For the first time in his life, Jonas feels different from the rest of the Elevens. After the Ceremony, he looks for his friends and family among the throng of people who eye him and whisper about him among themselves. Having spotted Asher, Jonas invites him to ride back home together. Although Asher agrees, Jonas feels that for a moment, Asher is uncertain. "There [is] just a moment when things [aren't] quite the same, [aren't] quite as they [have] always been through the long friendship." Chapter 9. Pg. 66
During the evening meal, Lily talks on as usual. Mother and Father tell Jonas that they are proud of his honorable Assignment as the Receiver. Father adds that the job is the most important and honored in the community. When Jonas asks them about the failed selection of the Receiver ten years ago, both parents fall silent, unable to give a complete answer. The Eleven who had been chosen as the Receiver ten years ago had been a female, but her name was never to be mentioned or used for a newchild. Her name had been designated Not-to-be-Spoken, the worst disgrace in the community. Neither of his parents knew what had happened to her.
At night, Jonas opens the folder he received at the Ceremony. Every Eleven had received a folder with pages of rules and instructions along with his or her Assignment. Jonas's folder is thin compared to those of others he has seen, and in it is only one sheet of rules.
There is a total of eight rules on the sheet. Everyday, Jonas is to report himself to the attendant at the Annex behind the House of the Old. After each day of training, he is to go immediately to his family dwelling. He is also exempt from rules regarding rudeness; he can ask anything of anyone. He is not to talk about his training with anyone, however, not even with his parents and other Elders. He is prohibited from talking about his dreams or applying for any medication related to training or applying for release. Finally, he is allowed to lie.
Having read over the rules, Jonas is stunned. He is disappointed that there will no longer be time for recreation in his schedule, and he is surprised to see that he will be exempt from the rules regarding rudeness. He thinks that he will never be rude to someone in the community. "He [is] so completely, so thoroughly accustomed to courtesy within the community that the thought of asking another citizen an intimate question, calling someone's attention to an area of awkwardness, [is] unnerving." Chapter 9, pg. 69 Because he dreams very rarely, Jonas thinks that no longer being able to tell his dreams will not be a problem. Thinking about the rule that no longer allows him to receive any medication, Jonas is reminded of what the Chief Elder said about his Assignment--that it would bring inexplicable pain. As for not being able to apply for release, Jonas is certain that he will never apply for one, but he is bothered by the rule that allows him to lie. From childhood, he has been taught to use language precisely and to never lie. Once as a Four, Jonas had indicated his hunger by saying "I'm starving," and he had been mildly scolded for using language incorrectly. He had not been starving; he had only been hungry. No one in the community starved, and he had spoken an "unintentional lie." Jonas is disturbed because he does not lie nor does anyone else around him like Asher, Lily, and his parents. Suddenly, however, Jonas has a thought that frightens him. "What if others--adults--had, upon becoming Twelves, received in their instructions the same terrifying sentence? What if they had all been instructed: You may lie?" Chapter 9, pg. 71 Jonas is confused and terrified by this idea.