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Ceremony Of 12 Assignment

The Ceremony of Twelve takes place each year in December; at this time the Elders select the position that each Twelve will hold in the community. Since this is the final ceremony, it represents a rite of passage into adulthood and is, therefore, the most important ceremony performed for members of the community.

No other ceremonies are performed after the Ceremony of Twelve. Also, this is the occasion on which differences are acknowledged. The Elder...

The Ceremony of Twelve takes place each year in December; at this time the Elders select the position that each Twelve will hold in the community. Since this is the final ceremony, it represents a rite of passage into adulthood and is, therefore, the most important ceremony performed for members of the community.

No other ceremonies are performed after the Ceremony of Twelve. Also, this is the occasion on which differences are acknowledged. The Elder tells the soon-to-be Twelves:

"You Elevens have spent all your years till now learning to fit in, ....But, today we honor your differences. They have determined your futures. (Ch.7)

The new Twelves are called one-by-one according to their birth order; then they are given their Assignments, their roles in the community which they will perform for the rest of their lives. The Twelves are assigned roles in the community that the Elders have chosen for them, based upon their observations of each child. After this ceremony age is no longer important, and birthdays are no longer celebrated.

If a child does not like the assignment given at the Ceremony of Twelve, there is nothing he or she can do about it.  Children do not choose their assignments.  They are observed carefully by a committee that determines what their assignment will be.

Long before they are twelve, children begin to serve volunteer hours after school.  They can go wherever they like, but the committee tracks these hours carefully.  They cannot get an assignment...

If a child does not like the assignment given at the Ceremony of Twelve, there is nothing he or she can do about it.  Children do not choose their assignments.  They are observed carefully by a committee that determines what their assignment will be.

Long before they are twelve, children begin to serve volunteer hours after school.  They can go wherever they like, but the committee tracks these hours carefully.  They cannot get an assignment unless they have completed the required hours (a very shameful thing indeed).

Jonas’s father describes how he spent most of his volunteer hours playing with babies in the Nurturing Center.

“But again and again, during free time, I found myself drawn to the newchildren. I spent almost all of my volunteer hours helping in the Nurturing Center. Of course the Elders knew that, from their observation." (ch 2, p. 15)

The elders meet “for long hours with all of the instructors” to determine what jobs each child should have.  When Jonas asks if any Elevens are ever disappointed with their assignments, they tell him no, because “the Elders are so careful in their observations and selections" (p. 16).

The children are usually in suspense before the ceremony, and not sure what they will get.  Whatever job they get is the job they’re stuck with.  The one questions orders in the community.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.