This text is an extract from the novel “The Giver” by Luis Lowry, appeared in year 1994, and deals with the first eleven Ceremonies, the community members visit on two days each year.
The whole novel is told from the perspective of the main character Jonas, although it is told from a third person narrator.
This excerpt leads up to Chapter 7 and 8 which are about the Ceremony of Jonas. There are some passages written in dialogue, for example in the beginning: From page 38 line 1 to page 39 line 3 Jonas’ Mother and sister talk with him about the following days and the Ceremonies. But instead of this part the mainly part is a narrative passage from Jonas’ view who tells the reader how the Ceremonies are passed.
The chapter is subdivided in two parts. First you get something about the first day and the Ceremonies of newchildren, as the Ceremony of Eight, too. Jonas’ narrative is focused on the Naming because he thinks it is the most interesting and happiest Ceremony on the first day. Additionally it shows how the Ceremonies are structured. The Ceremony of Eight is even told more detailed, because Lily, Jonas’ sister, is involved. This shows the relationship between Jonas and Lily, although they are not biological related.
The second part deals with the following day of Ceremonies and each Ceremony (from Nine to Eleven) is explained with many details. This works to make the reader feel Jonas’ suspense, looking forward to his own Ceremony. For example in lines 25 and 26 on page 42 it is said: “Jonas never found the Ceremony of Ten particularly interesting”. Jonas feels boring instead he is excited because of his Ceremony.
Ater the Ceremony of Eleven the midday meal follows and the author shows the atmosphere of Jonas and the other Elevens who will become Twelves really good: “Yesterday there had been merriment at lunch, a lot of teasing and energy. But today the group stood anxiously, separate from the other children.” (Page 43, ll. 10-12) Afterwards there is a dialogue between Asher, Jonas’ best friend, and Jonas about what will be the choice if you get a job you really don’t like and want. They talk about joining another community and whether it is possible or necessary. This makes the reader thinking himself about this situation and how he would act if he were in this situation, that he is not allowed to choose a job he wants.
In the final part the reader gets some thoughts of Jonas about his job and you see his sureness that the Elders know the right one for everybody of their community.
Like in the Chapters before Luis Lowry uses special speech. There are some word creations you do not use typically in the English language. “For the earliest ceremony, the Naming, the Nurturers brought the newchildren to the stage.” (p. 39, ll.13-15)
“The Naming” is the Ceremony the “newchildren”, that means the babies, the children who are born new (since the last Ceremonies), get their names. Luis Lowry gives the community members this special language to show that they are different to our culture. In Chapter one Jonas has to guess a word which perfectly describes his feelings. All in all this words connect to this explanation of Chapter one: They have to use words cautiously (besonnen) and for example the “Naming” names exactly what it is. In the community the members tell what they mean and don’t need any paraphrases which do not name this exactly.
Finally the whole chapter mentions the structure of their community, as it is even told: “The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made.” (p.44, ll.6+7) Jonas is satisfied to live in this community and con not guess what could be a reason to join another community.
It fits perfectly in the previous chapters and forms a transition to the main story of “The Giver”. Here the action becomes less passive and introductory. You can expect the following chapters to be more exciting and showing more about the main idea of the whole story.