Asher is a clumsy, inept, but good-natured as well as good-humored twelve-year-old who just happens to be Jonas's best friend. Asher is usually late to school, which forces him to recite the standard apology, directed to the class. Since Asher is not very hand-eye coordinated, his great friend Jonas is always there to help. One time when both were doing their volunteer hours at the recreation center, Jonas picked up an apple out of the snack basket and simulated a game of catch between the two males. Even though the activity was boring and easy for Jonas, he still played so that his friend could get some practice. Prior to the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas was worried about Asher's Assignment because Asher didn't seem to have any serious interests. Surprisingly, the Chief of Elders and the Committee decided that the best Assignment for Asher would be Assistant Director of Recreation. During the ceremony, the Chief Elder went on and on about how hard it was to find the perfect Assignment for Asher, at times. She also told the Community what Asher's mistakes were when he was little. For example, when Asher was a three, he still didn't have proper language acquisition. One day Asher had gotten hungry so he said "smack" meaning a snack. Well, in the community, smacks were a system of punishment for children. They stung painfully when brought upon you. The system was this: one smack across the hand for a minor issue and two smacks across the knees if it occurred again. Asher had one day, impatient for his snack said "smack" instead of "snack", so that's what he got. His friends had tried to correct him, but it was too late. Asher had been given a smack across the hands, correcting himself when he released what he had said. However, the following day Asher made the same mistake, this time taking the punishment on his knees. This happened for a few more days, until Asher stopped speaking. "We had a silent Asher for a few days." had said the Chief Elder. The Chief Elder had mentioned some of Asher's mistakes at the ceremony, which slightly embarrassed Asher.
Birthmother is the natural mother of a child. The assignment did not have much honor to it. Unfortunately they are not allowed to see the child or to have any part in its life past the birth. For 3 years they give birth to 3 children and they can do whatever they like in those years. After they finish giving birth, the birthmothers are given jobs as laborers for the rest of their lives. They have to cook and clean for the house of old. They meet new people and give them their assignments and locations.
Comfort object is a toy imaginary animal given to a child to given to a child to give him or her comfort. No one, not even adults realize that the imaginary animals are copied from what were once real animals. Comfort objects are given while the new children are in the nurturing center. They are kept by children until the ceremony of eights. A comfort object in the book is basically a stuffed animal given to a child at birth to help them sleep at night. It is then taken away from them when you go to the ceremony of eights and its passed down to a new child. Then the Eights get a new assignment.
As Jonas remembers the community reaction to the event, we learn more about the society in which he lives. It is extremely structured, with official orders transmitted through loudspeakers planted all around the community. As a punishment, the pilot was “released” from the community—the worst fate that can befall a citizen. Jonas decides he is apprehensive, not frightened, about the important thing that is going to happen in December. Jonas and his society value the use of precise and accurate language.At dinner that night, Jonas’s family—his father, mother, and seven-year-old sister Lily—participate in a nightly ritual called “the telling of feelings.” Each person describes an emotion that he or she...
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