The Giver Chapters 7 - 9 Summary

In chapter seven, the ceremony of elevens begins. Each child is given a number according to the order in which they are born that year. Jonas was the nineteenth child born, so his number is eleven-nineteen since he is still eleven although that would only last a few more hours. The elevens sat in the order of their numbers and were called up in turn to receive their jobs. Asher, number four, went up and received the job of Assistant Director of Recreation. They recounted a story about when he was three and said the word smack instead of snack for which the punishment was appropriately enough a smack on the hand. When he continued to make the same mistake, the punishment escalated to a smack on the leg until eventually Asher stopped talking for a period so that he wouldn't receive any more punishments. He did finally learn the difference and became a very fun-loving person, so his job suited him. As did Fiona's, number eighteen, who was assigned to the House of the Old. Jonas should have been called next, but somehow they skipped him and went to Pierre, number twenty. Jonas bowed his head in shame, wondering what he had done to be overlooked.

In chapter eight the Chief Elder acknowledged the oversight of Jonas and apologized to him. She said he was special because he had not been assigned but had been selected to become the next Receiver of Memory. This job is very special because only one person in the community has it. Jonas noticed the current receive, an old man with pale eyes. They had tried once before, ten years ago, to train a new receiver, but that person had failed. In this position of honor, Jonas would be alone, enduring physical pain, and building his capacity to see beyond. As she finished explaining Jonas's position, the crowd chanted his name, and all Jonas felt was fear.

As Jonas leaves the ceremony in chapter nine, he immediately notices people treating him differently. They are more hesitant, unsure of what to say. When he arrives home, he asks his parents what happened to the receiver that they attempted to train ten years ago. His parents tell him that it was a girl and that her name is never again to be spoken or given to another child. They never saw her again, so they don't know what happened to her. Jonas then takes the folder of instructions about his job up to his room to read. Many students receive thick folders of information, but Jonas's folder contains a single sheet of paper with eight rules. He find many of the rules surprising, such as being able to ask anyone any question, never discussing his training, and not being allowed to take any medication although he assumes this does not include his morning pill. He doesn't mind be prohibited from dream telling since he doesn't often have them, and he can't imagine ever requesting a release, so he's not worried about that. The most startling rule is the last one, which says he is allowed to lie. He wonders if other jobs have this same instruction and considers whether his parents have been lying to him about certain things all along.

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