In this chapter you get to know the protagonist "Jonas" and find out in what world he lives with his family.
In the beginning Jonas THINKS that he is frightened because what he feels there reminds him of an event a year earlier. Later another word comes to his mind which describes his feeling better. Jonas feels apprehensive, because it's almost December and there will be "The Ceremony of Twelve" which every adult has been through. Jonas lives in a community in a no name area which is really anonymous. There are strict rules and any violations will be punished. The worst form of punishment is being released from the community. There exist only family units that means every family consists of two children - one male, one female - a father and a mother. In Jonas' case: his father is a Nurturer (to nurture new children), his mother holds a prominent position at the Department of Justice and his little sister Lily is a Seven (seven years old group). But this is only one of the rules. Another rule is more an evening ritual. The whole family unit sits together after their evening meal and every member has to tell his or her feelings during the day. This should help them to feel better. (They could comfort each other or explain the younger children how they should avoid with situations etc.) In the end of the chapter Jonas' parents want to speak with him privately about what will happen in this special Ceremony.
Already here you can see that the story "The Giver" is an utopian story. In the first chapter are many examples for an utopian behaviour, world etc.