Jonas's Father

A kind, shy, quiet, considerate, mild-mannered, tenderhearted and caring man who works as a Nurturer, his main duty is being responsible for the physical and emotional needs of every newborn child during the first few months of life. He also often plays with Jonas and Lily and nevertheless follows his training and releases infants when deemed appropriate. He is very sweet with his two children.

In this book, he has a lot of roles, and he is really irreplaceable. He is also responsible for the release — killing — of infants who are deemed worthless because something either emotional or physical, or both, is wrong with them. He adores the work he does, and it is obvious that he takes it very seriously. The main responsibility of it is to nurture a kid and to try to make him staying alive till the Ceremony of Names begins. However, even if he is attached to a child, he will release it if that seems to be the best decision. He was born to have this job, and he completely understands his role in the lives of the whole city.

What's so hard to understand about Jonas' Father is how he can be so caring and nurturing—look at the pains he takes to help Gabriel, after all—and at the same time be so casual about unnecessary death.

But the fact is, Jonas's Father is the product of his environment. He's been trained to think that death is not a big deal, just as Jonas has been trained to understand that it is, in fact, a big deal.

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Jonas's Father in the Essays