Stirrings are similar to dreams; one makes the possessor feel pleasure. They happen when a citizen begins the early stages of adolescence, or puberty.
To stop the Stirrings, the citizens are required to take pills. These pills are taken by children in the early stages of adolescence, and then for the rest of their lives, including as adults, until they are released.
The people are required to take those pills until they enter the House of the Old. Failing to report Stirrings and/or taking the medication will result in a public announcement.
When Jonas first begins his Stirrings, he has a dream about his friend Fiona. In the dream, he is bare-chested and he is in the Bathing Room at The House of The Old. Fiona is in the Bathing Room with him, and he is trying to convince her to take off her clothes and get in the tub. Jonas states that he knew she wouldn't and that she shouldn't, but he remembers the wanting.
- In the film, the pills are replaced by injections which have the same effect as in the book.
- Stirrings are not mentioned in the film.