I'm intrigued by this passage in Lois Lowry, The Giver, chapter 10.
He watched as the man rose and moved first to the wall where the speaker was. It was the same sort of speaker that occupied a place in every dwelling, but one thing about it was different. This one had a switch, which the man deftly snapped to the end that said OFF.
Jonas almost gasped aloud. To have the power to turn the speaker off! It was an astonishing thing.
In chapter 20, the Giver implies that the switch controls not only the speaker, but also the microphone that the Giver's secretary listens to.
“You may stay here tonight. I want to talk to you. But you must be quiet now, while I notify your family unit. No one must hear you cry.”
The Giver waited silently . Finally Jonas was able to quiet himself and he sat huddled, his shoulders shaking.
The Giver went to the wall speaker and clicked the switch to ON.
“Yes, Reveiver. How may I help you?”
“Notify the new Receiver's family unit that he will be staying with me tonight, for additional training.”
“I will take care of that, sir. Thank you for your instructions,” the voice said.
Is this trying to reference George Orwell's 1984? In that novel, too, every apartment has a television that cannot be silenced, so Smith is astonished that the inner party member O'Brien has a television that can be turned off completely. O'Brien also seemed to imply that turning off the television turns off the surveillance, although O'Brien lied while the Giver tells the truth.