The Giver

2. Why do you think Jonas rarely dreams? Why do you think the family doesn’t discuss Jonas’s dream?

The Giver

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Chapter 5 deals primarily with the reaction to Jonas' dream and his experience of the Stirrings, which are clearly an early manifestation of adult sexuality. Jonas's dream is relatively innocuous, as it merely involves bathing Fiona and is clearly the result of his recent volunteer hours at the House of the Old. Although it seems innocent, the dream is erotic and thus must be suppressed. Jonas knows in his heart that the Stirrings are a positive thing, as is shown when he almost immediately regrets beginning to take the pills, but he decides to follow the tenets of his society, in which he completely believes despite his minor doubts.

The suppression of sexuality in the community is particularly unusual because it goes beyond avoiding overt sexuality to the point of simply eradicating natural human urges. Members of the community begin their use of the pill around the age of Eleven or Twelve and do not cease the treatment until they have joined the House of the Old. In this sense, even the adults in the community are infantilized and prevented from enjoying the full range of adult emotions. In addition, the pill's use suggests that even spouses in stable family units remain chaste, and the Assignment of Birthmother indicates that sex may not even be necessary for procreation. In this manner, a certain level of freedom is taken away from the society's citizens.