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In the novel the main character, Jonas, started off as an eleven-year-old boy that lived his entire life in sameness, which wasn't very different from anyone else his age in the community. At the age of eight, he received his front button jacket and at nine he received his bicycle, and so on. Jonas had no true mother, father or sister. Instead he had a family to whom he was assigned. Jonas was born by a birthmother, named by a committee and then assigned to his father and mother. Birthdays in the community were celebrated as a community. Everyone that was eleven turned twelve at the end of the year, regardless to their true date of birth. At the ceremony of twelve, all children were given their occupation and began training immediately. This was the day that Jonas was chosen to be the new "Receiver". This was considered to be the most honorable occupation in the entire community as well as the most demanding. Jonas had to begin training with the current "Receiver of memory" who was now dubbed "The Giver.".
Jonas was assigned to train with "The Giver" at his personal annex. "The Giver" now transmitted all his current memories to him one at a time on a daily basis. These memories (memories of war, peace, love, hate, snow, rain, sunshine, color, etc.
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