Friday, November 21, 2008

The Giver -- Summary for Chapter 2

This summary is from Book Rags.

The Giver, Chapter 2
Jonas's parents begin talking about the Ceremony in December. During the conversation, Jonas remembers the ceremonies he has had before and the ceremonies he has seen. During the Ceremony of One, all newchildren who were born the year before turn One. There are always fifty in each year's group. During the ceremony, each one of them is brought up to the stage to be given names. At the mention of the ritual of Naming, Father guiltily admits that he broke a rule earlier that day. Despite rules against doing so, he peeked at the Naming List of the newchildren who had been born last year. He wanted to know the name of the boy he had brought home for the night, and found that it was to be Gabriel.

Jonas remembers the year he became a Five when Lily was given to the family unit. Jonas had gone up to the stage with his parents to receive her. Father then tells Jonas about his own Ceremony of Twelve. His own sister had gotten a bicycle as she became a Nine then. Although it had been against the rules, he had been teaching his sister how to ride the bike. Although the rules dictate the one cannot ride the bicycle before turning Nine, it is a rule that is frequently broken. Nowadays, there is much talk about changing this rule regarding riding the bicycle. A committee is looking into possibly making a change in the rules, but changing the rules is a long, hard process. If it is an important rule, The Receiver, as the most important elder in the community, is consulted.

Father continues talking about his experiences. He tells Jonas that for him, there was no suspense because he had already known what his Assignment would be. As a child, he had very often volunteered at the Nurturing Center, and his talent at caring for newchildren had been recognized by the Elders, who were constantly observing him and the other children. He was not surprised when he was assigned to become a Nurturer. Although appeals could be made in the case that one was unhappy with his Assignment, others in Father's group had been generally pleased with their respective Assignments.

Jonas tells his parents that he is worried about Asher's Assignment because Asher is never serious about anything. Mother assures him that the Elders will be able to assign him something proper for Asher. Mother tells Jonas: "After Twelve, age isn't important. Most of us even lose track of how old we are as time passes, though information is in the Hall of Open Records... What's important is the preparation for adult life, and the training you'll receive in your Assignment."

Lily interrupts Jonas's conversation with his parents. She is impatient for her comfort object which is something children sleep with. They are given to every newchild, but taken away when the child becomes an Eight. All comfort objects are "soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures." Lily's comfort object is a creature called an elephant, and Jonas's had been called a bear.

Father leads Lily into her sleeping room with her comfort object. Mother begins working at her desk, and Jonas turns to his homework. Although he feels better after talking to his parents, Jonas is still unsure about what his future and his Assignment will be.