Questions on Chapter 1 Throughout the novel, Lois Lowry tells her audience nothing about the geographical location of Jonas’ community, nor does she tell them what year the story takes place. However, she does provide readers with textual clues to help them make inferences about the characteristics of the community. 1. Read each of the following passages below. Then explain what each passage suggests or reveals to you about Jonas’s community. It might be a way they live in their home or community, a rule or person they follow, or a way they express themselves. a. Then all of the citizens had been ordered to go into the nearest building and stay there. IMMEDIATELY, the rasping voice through the speakers had said. LEAVE YOUR BICYCLES WHERE THEY ARE. (p2) This passage reveals that Jonas lives in a community where they are insecure of everything. b. When the class took their seats at the conclusion of the patriotic hymn, Asher remained standing to make his public apology as was required. (p4) This reveals that c. “Who wants to be the first tonight, for feelings?” Jonas’s father asked at the conclusion of their evening meal. It was one of the rituals, the evening telling of feelings. d. Lily considered, and shook her head. “I don’t know. They acted like...like...” “Animals?” Jonas suggested. He laughed. “That’s right,” Lily said, laughing too. “Like animals.” Neither child knew what the word meant, exactly, but it was often used to describe someone uneducated or clumsy, someone who didn’t fit in. (p7) e. Most of the people on the night crew had not been given spouses because they lacked, somehow, the essential capacity to connect to others, which was required for the creation of a family unit. (p 10) f. Today a repeat offender had been brought before her, someone who had broken the rules before. Someone who she hoped had been adequately and fairly punished, and who had been restored to his place: to his job, his home, his family unit... “The rules say that if there’s a third transgression, he simply has to be released.” (p11) 2. By the end of the novel, readers and Jonas understand that the word ‘release’ means to kill someone with a lethal injection and then dispose of their body in the rubbish bin. a. List four clues that Lois Lowry gives her readers in the opening chapter that hint at the true meaning of the word ‘release.’ 3. Read the passage on pp2-3. “But the aircraft a year ago…He had trembled”. In this passage readers are lead to assume Jonas’ community has been invaded. a. What imagery in the passage encourages readers to reach this conclusion? b. How does the voice on the loud speaker contribute to the sense of fear in the community at this time? 4. What does Jonas’ determination to find the right words to describe his emotions tell us about him? 5. a. Why do you think Lois Lowry has decided to write her novel from the point of view of Jonas, who is a child? c. How might it have been different if it had been written from the point of view of an adult? 6. What are some of the big ideas/themes in the novel that are introduced in this chapter?