The Giver Chapters 4 - 6 Summary

In chapter four Jonas rides his bicycle to the House of the Old where he sees the bicycles of his friend Asher and a girl named Fiona there already. The elevens need to put in volunteer hours at many places so that the elders can find what job suits them best. Jonas thinks that another eleven-year-old named Benjamin puts in almost all of his hours at the Rehabilitation Center where he has helped improve the way that they assist people who have been injured. That will clearly be his future job, but Jonas wonders what his will be. He goes in and finds his friends bathing an old man. Jonas begins to assist an old woman take her bath. Normally, the rule states that people are never allowed to see one another naked, but that rule doesn't apply to the elderly or the newborns.

Fiona tells Jonas about a celebration they recently held to release Roberto. Jonas remembers Roberto, an old man he had met several weeks before. Fiona explains that at the celebration they summarize what he did with his life, make toasts, give speeches, and then Roberto is happily escorted away. Jonas asks where exactly people go when they are released, but Fiona doesn't know.

Chapter five has the family sitting down the following morning and recounting their dreams. Recounting dreams begins at age three. Jonas doesn't often remember his dreams, but today he has one to share. He describes how he was in the House of the Old, and he was trying to convince Fiona to get into the tub. He wanted to bathe her. His mom takes him aside and tells him she will write him a letter of apology for being late to school, but she needs to tell him something. She explains that his dream is the first sign of a stirring. When stirrings begin, children must commence taking a pill every morning to stop them. Jonas remembered that Asher had already started taking his pills, but Jonas hadn't asked him about it because people aren't supposed to talk about things that aren't the same. Jonas somehow felt more grown up knowing he would take the pill each morning the rest of his life, the way his parents did, but he almost missed the pleasurable feeling of the stirring.

In chapter six the ceremonies begin. They take two days, which everyone receives off as holidays. In the ceremony of one, Fiona went up with her family to receive her new brother, Bruno. Gabriel was not assigned to a family because he still wasn't ready. Jonas's father had asked for a special reprieve of one year to help him gain more weight and learn to sleep through the night so that he could be assigned at the following year's ceremony. One family received a boy named Caleb to replace their previous son Caleb who had drowned at the age of four. Child deaths were extremely rare in their society, so the community mourned the loss by whispering his name more and more softly throughout the day. Then at this ceremony, they said the name Caleb louder and louder to wipe away the memory of the one they had lost. A child was also given the name Roberto, but the community didn't treat the release of people the same way they did with sudden deaths.

Jonas sat through the various ceremonies anxiously awaiting his. In Lily's ceremony for age eight, she was told she could begin her volunteer hours. The tens received adult haircuts, the elevens were given more mature undergarments. While Jonas and his friends ate before their ceremony, they talked about how if they didn't like the job they were assigned, they could always apply for Elsewhere and leave the community. People almost never applied to leave because the community was so well-organized. The matching of spouses often took many months, and then the couple had to wait three years before applying for a child to make sure they were perfectly suited to one another. Even though he trusted the elders, Jonas had no idea what his future job might be.

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