In The Giver, a number of symbolic elements between the human mind and the outer world are used to bridge an understanding between the material and the spiritual world. I realize the Giver is full of allusions to Christian tradition and biblical references. In The Ceremony of Twelve, I see a number of associations regarding this number, such as the twelve apostles or disciples that accompanied Jesus in the Last Supper, twelve marking the numeric representation of December and December was going to be the month in which the “naming ceremony” took place in the Community. And of course the celebration of Christmas takes place in the twelfth month of the year, and twelve, in the English grammar, points out the last year of childhood and going into the teens (thirteen). Incidentally the name Gabriel, given to one of the characters, is also in the bible as the angel Gabriel who heralded the birth of baby Jesus.
Continuing with the biblical references, in each household only two children were allowed, one male and one female, a striking similarity with the story of Adam and Eve, which brings me to my next analogy, when Jonas was tossing the apple to Asher, he had a glimpse of the color red and what he later called “capacity to see beyond,” again in the biblical tradition an apple is what gave Adam and Eve knowledge, for better or for worse, after Jonas was given his folder with the rules pertaining to his “job” as the “receiver of memory” the list had a resemblance to the ten commandments, although in Jonas’s list are only eight and the last instruction reads “you may lie.”
During his training Jonas encountered indescribable pain and questions why the Giver and him should have to lift and carry the burden of painful memories, a sacrifice just like Jesus.