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Agreed!

Early in the book, Jonas's dad seems very sad that he has to release babies. At the end of the book, he's quirky and cute about it. Why the change?

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At the beginning of The Giver, the father seems to be upset that the child might have to be released; however, it soon becomes apparent to the reader that nobody in this society has any depth of feeling about anybody or anything.  For instance, the mother also claims to be troubled and when her children stroke her arms, she says that she has been soothed.  When one is truly emotionally upset, no amount of arm stroking will soothe that person.

Perhaps the lack of feeling is most clearly exemplified when Jonas learns what love is, and asks his parents if they love him.  They are upset with him for using such a term--they appreciate him and they enjoy him- but love is not something they even consider.  Therefore, a general lack of any emotional depth is apparent.

In the story's end, the father is more matter-of-fact about the whole situation and jokes about it as he does most things.

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