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There was an ironic tone to that final message, as if the Speaker found it amusing; and Jonas had smiled a little, though he knw what a grim statement it had been.
Within minutes the apeakers had crackled again, and the voice, reassuring now and less urgent, had explained that a Pilot-in-Training had misread his navigational instrucitons and made a wrong.
Looking through the front window, he had seen no people: none of the busy afternoon crew of Street Cleaners, Landscape Workers, and Food Delivery people who usually populated the community at that time of day.
Now, thinking about the feeling of fear as he pedaled home along the river path, he remembered that moment ofpalpable, stomach-sinking terror when the aircraft had streaked above.
He and the other Nurturers were responsible for all the physical and emotional needs of every newchild during its earliest life.
Next, Mother, who held a prominent position at the Department of Justice, talked about her feelings.
He glanced at his mother, the one responsible for adherence to the rules, and was relieved that she was smiling.
Lily, he decided, would have to learn that soon, or she would be called in for chastisement because of her insensitive chatter.
It was a serene and slow paced place unlike the busy centers of manufacture and distribuion where the daily work of the community occured.
Jonas said the standard phrase automatically, and tried to pay better attention while his mother told of a dream fragment, a disquieting scene where she had been chastised for a rule infraction she didn't understand.
Jonas said the standard phrase automatically, and tried to pay better attention while his mother told of a dream fragment, a disquieting scene where she had been chastised for a rule infraction she didn't understand
Fours, Fives, and Sixes all wore jackets that fastened down the back so that they would have to help each other dress and would earn interdependence.
Each family member, including Lily, had been required to sign a pledge that they would not become attached to this little teimprary guest, and that they would relinquish him without protest or appeal when he was assigned to his own family unit at next year's Ceremony.
He had been given an unusual and special reprieve from the committee, and granted an additional year of nurturing before his Naming and Placement.
But each such error reflected negatively on his parents' guidance and infringed on the community's sense of order and success.
He and his groupmates congregated by the tables in front of the Auditorium and took their packaged food.
You Elevens have spent all your years till now learning to fit in, to standardize your behavior, to curb any impulse that might set you apart from the group.
They applauded at the final Assignment; but the applause was piecemeal, no longer a crescendo of united enthusiasm.
"But you will be faced, now," she explained gently, "with pain of a magnitude that none of us here can comprehend because it is beyond our experience.
When he had crushed his finger in the door, he had quickly, gasping into the speaker, notified his mother; she had hastily requisitioned relief-of-pain medication.
But that does not mean I am perfect, and when I tried before to train a successor, I failed.
Then the moment on the stage, when he had looked out and seen the same phenomenon in the faces of the crowd.
With their hours together, his and The Giver's, consumed by conversation and by the transmission of memories, Jonas had not yet opened any of the books.
The colors of the carnage were grotesquely bright: the crimson wetness of the rough and dusty fabric, the ripped shreds of grass, startlingly green, in the boy's yellow hair.
... a slow-swinging hammock under palm trees on an island someplace, at evening, with a rhythmic sound of languid water lapping hypnotically again a beach nearby.
They came less often, and flew, when they did come, less slowly, as if the search had become haphazard and no longer hopeful.
He was constantly vigilant, looking for the next nearest hiding place should the sound of engines come.
Gabriel moved feebly against him and whimpered briefly into the silence that surrounded them.
His front wheel moved forward imperceptibly as he pushed on the pedals with his numb, exhausted legs.
But the hill was treacherously steep; he was impeded by the snow and his own lack of strength.
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