In this chapter there are some situations you see the typical structures and conventions (Sitten) of the community.
The first situation is on breakfast, while Jonas’ family tells their dreams. His mother asks Jonas if he had dreamed something. Jonas is really happy that it is not necessary to lie. “Jonas simply smiled and nodded, not ready to lie, not willing to tell the truth.” (p.73,ll 3+4) It fits in the character of the community: He grew up with a lot of rules and now, since he is the Receiver of Memories, he has to change this. You can say, Jonas lives in the character of the community and it is hard to leave this and become someone different.
The second situation is when Jonas meets Fiona. She tells him that she had looked for him the day before to ride home together. The following convention is shown in some parts in the book: It is to be polite. For that Jonas apologizes for making Fiona wait and she answers the typical phrase: “I accept your apology.”(p.74, l 16) This automatic answer shows that the community members did not only learn the rules –they live them. Here Jonas does not have to ‘break’ the rules, because it is not against his Receiver-instructions.
In the whole book you can find hints to this rules and conventions, these are just examples.
If I imagine this world as a world which could be, I will be really shocked. The men in the community have no own choice. They have to obey. They can not change their job, if they do not like them…well, they have to like them. They do not know who their parents are, which their biological family is. I would not like a world like that. Sure, I know, that they do not know, that it could change. They worry about every abnormal activity, because they do not know them. In our world you can see airplanes everyday, in their world it is something on the horizon. Our world is very different to their world, but I don’t know, whether you can say, they are humans like we are. Humans are humans because they can think and these people are not allowed to think. Are they humans?
I would be interested in the question if there are any other humans, far away from the community, who live like we? Maybe the community is like the communistic states today, where men live without any real rights, but in “the Giver” they are controlled with a lot of technology and they have not only to do not think in another way as the political system of their state, they are not able to. They have no rights anymore, because they can not use their senses anymore. I think no one would live in this world if he has a choice.
This picture shows the sameness of the community: Everyone has to live in the same house.