Jonas lives in a community that revolves around the concept of "sameness". From a lack of opportunity to form his own opinions, Jonas has come to believe that this is the ideal way of life. When he is assigned the role of receiver at the Ceremony of Twelve, everything changes. He has access to memories of a time before sameness. He begins to question what really is ideal and distances himself from those around him to a point where he can no longer function in the community and believes he needs to find a far away place not often talked about known as elsewhere.