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The Giver

Chapters 5–6

Summary Chapters 5–6

Also noteworthy is that Caleb drowned in the river. Early, unplanned deaths of children are exceedingly rare in the community. Few things seem to be beyond anyone’s control, but Caleb’s death was an accident in a community that does not tolerate accidents (like the Pilot’s accidental deviation from his course at the beginning of the novel.) The Murmur-of-Replacement Ceremony helps the community to feel that it has gained some control over the situation, but the accidental drowning remains a powerful event in the book and one that shapes Jonas’s ideas about the community’s power. The river becomes a symbol of escape from Jonas’s society’s omniscience and omnipotence, and also a symbol of the strong emotions and desires that the society cannot totally restrain.