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In The Giver, what do the comfort objects do for those who await them? |

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The concept of comfort objects is discovered by the reader in chapter 2. Comfort objects are given to the little children at the Nurturing Center before they turn one year old. All children are born and cared for at the Nurturing Center.  When that child turns one, he or she is adopted by a family that has applied for a child and been chosen to receive that child. A one year old child is old enough to recognize faces and voices. Many one year old children have even learned to walk. What I'm trying to say is that the child is "with it" enough to recognize that his or her new family is not the same family that took care of him/her for the past year.  It's scary. My own children didn't even like being handed off to grandma when they were one (and they saw her like once a week). Strangers were terrifying.  

The comfort object is exactly what it sounds like. It is an object meant to give the one year old some kind of tangible comfort during the adoption process. That's why the object is usually something soft and cuddly (unlike my boys, their comfort objects are Hot Wheels). 

Many of the comfort objects, like Lily's, were soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures. Jonas's had been called a bear.

The comfort objects are one of the few instances in the entire novel where the reader sees some emotional softness from the people. Unfortunately, children don't get to keep their comfort object forever. When a child turns eight, the comfort object is taken away and given back to the nurturing center to be used again. 

"Lily," her mother said fondly, "you're very dose to being an Eight, and when you're an Eight, your comfort object will be taken away. It will be recycled to the younger children."

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