Chapter 1-4 Summary
Chapter 1-2 Summary
While heading to his home dwelling for the evening, Jonas begins to feel frightened about the upcoming Ceremony of Twelve, which is very soon. Upon consideration, he decides “frightened” is an inaccurate term for his emotional state. He thinks about the time a jet flew over the community, a time when he was, in fact, “frightened”, and remembers the importance of precision of language when analyzing his feelings. This brings him to consider his friend, Asher, who is known to speak too quickly and thus imprecisely, leading to frequent chastisement from adults and educators. Jonas eventually decides “apprehensive best describes his feelings”.
During the nightly “telling of feelings” in Jonas’s dwelling, Jonas’s family go over what happened during the day and how they felt about it. Lily, Jonas’s younger sister, reports anger because a child from another community on a visit broke their play area rules. The family unit concludes that the child may have felt strange and stupid due to his lack of understanding of the rules of another community.
Jonas’s mother feels sad because a community member committed a second transgression, even after she had fairly punished him.
Jonas’s father is worried about a newchild named Gabriel who is not growing or sleeping well, and he states that he will be given an extra year to grow before being named and given to a household as a One. He was to stay at Jonas’s house for this time.
Jonas finally states that he is apprehensive about the coming Ceremony of Twelve, at which point his parents ask Lily to go upstairs so they and Jonas to have a private talk.
Jonas’s parents discuss with Jonas the Ceremony of Twelve, and tell him that though there is no way to know for sure what one’s Life Assignment will be (though some can have a very good idea), the Elders take great care in Assigning Twelves to their jobs, and that whatever job Jonas receives, it will be one that he will be satisfied with.
Chapter 3-4 Summary
Upon the arrival of Gabriel into Jonas’s family unit, Lily notes that his eyes are like those of Jonas; pale, as opposed to the dark eyes of the majority of the Community. Jonas too notices this, and realizes that he too looks just as unusual to others.
Jonas’s mother then explains to Lily, upon her expressed desire to be assigned Birthmother, that the job has no honour and if she does enjoy newchildren, she should become a Nurturer. Jonas thinks Lily would be well qualified for the Speaker assignment, which reminds him of a bewildering incident earlier.
Jonas recalls that while tossing an apple back and forth between Asher and himself, the apple “changed” in an unidentifiable way.
After this, the evening continues as normal, except for the addition of Gabriel.
Later, Jonas travels to the House of the Old for volunteer hours and considers the nature of such hours. He also thinks about a male named Benjamin, who spent all of his hours at the Rehabilitation Centre.
At the house of the Old, while Jonas is bathing an elderly woman named Larissa, the two discuss the Ceremony of Release and the telling of Life of two old individuals, Roberto and Edna, as well as the enigma surrounding what exactly happens in the Releasing Room, which only the Nurturers and those who are Released ever see.