“No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it [the apple] your eyes will be opened and you be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” Genesis 3:5
“When he expelled the man, he settled him [released him] east of the Garden of Eden [Elsewhere]; and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the three of life.” Genesis 3:24
A punishment is a penalty for doing something wrong. In Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver even though the main character has not done anything wrong, Jonas gets punished when he is selected to be the Receiver’s apprentice. The Receiver is the town historian who must absorb the collective memory of a community that wants to forget their painful memories. The punishment of his apprenticeship is made worse by the fact that he must begin enduring all these painful memories on his own while continuing to live among the townspeople in the community of Sameness. By having these memories, Jonas is no longer like everyone else. He is different. He is like Adam and Eve who, after biting the apple, no longer belonged in the Garden of Eden because they knew too much. Staying in the Garden of Eden was punishment for them, just as staying in [town name] is punishment for Jonas.
By passing their memories onto just one person, the members of the community [town’s name?] are able to live in a life of peace and tranquility while at the same time keeping a record and learning from the mistakes of the past by having one person act as the town’s historian. This punishment of being the town historian is well known by the town, given that the last apprentice could not handle the job and asked to be “released” which essentially represents banishment from the Garden of Eden. “We failed in our last selection”, the chief elder said solemnly. “It was ten years ago when Jonas was a toddler. I will not dwell on the experience because it causes a terrible discomfort” (59). It is important to note that...
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