The Giver Book Notes

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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Author/Context

Born on March 20, 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lois Lowry was the second daughter of Robert Hammersberg, an army dentist, and Katharine Landis, the daughter of a Pennsylvanian banker. The Hammersberg family moved constantly, living in different places because of Robert Hammersberg's career in the army. When Lois was two, the family moved to the father's assignment in New York City.

Lowry taught herself to read and write, and she later described herself as "an intellectual snob at the age of three." Life at home was harmonious with a mother who constantly read aloud and a father who told stories about his childhood. However, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States went to war, and in 1941, the family was separated from their father who was sent off to war.

With her children, Katharine Landis returned to her hometown in Pennsylvania to her family and relatives. There, Lowry shared a special relationship with her affectionate grandfather and the cook of the family, Fleta. Soon after, a baby brother was born, and Lowry started school. At school, Lowry, having already mastered reading and writing, was constantly ahead of other children as a result of which she was able to skip the second grade. Lowry's childhood was a warm, happy one despite the fact that it was in the middle of the World War II. As a girl, she loved making trips to the local public library, and was convinced that she would become a writer some day.

After the war ended, the family once again relocated. This time, Katharine Landis took her children to Japan where her husband had been living and stationed since the war. Lowry attended the English-speaking Meguro School in Tokyo with her older sister Helen. The family lived in Washington Heights where the families of other US army officials lived. Lowry welcomed the chance to be reunited with her father in Japan whose absence had made her long for him. After a two-year stay in Japan, however, the Korean War broke out, and the family was again separated from their father, heading back to Pennsylvania. Lowry's stay in Pennsylvania was not to be a long one, however. Robert Hammersberg shortly followed his family to the United States, taking them back to New York where his new assignment was to be. Lois first attended Curtis High School, a public high school on Staten Island, and later transferred to a private girls' school in Brooklyn called Packer Collegiate Institute. In high school, Lowry was a shy and reserved student who loved to read and write.

After high school, Lowry attended Brown University which had offered her a scholarship and acceptance into its honors writing program. She met her future husband at Brown-Donald Grey Lowry who later persuaded her to discontinue her education and marry him. Donald Lowry was an officer in the United States Navy, so Lowry's married life was no different from the rest of her life in that it was spent in many different places. By the age of twenty-five, she had had four children. Later, Donald Lowry enrolled at Harvard Law School, and the family lived in Cambridge. During her time at Cambridge, Lowry received word from her sister Helen that she was dying of cancer. Although she repeatedly made plans to go see her sister at Washington DC, Lowry was never able to see her again alive.

After Donald Lowry graduated from law school, the family moved to Maine where Lowry spent most of her time raising her children and taking care of her family. She was a disciplinary, but affectionate mother. When her youngest child started attending school, Lowry decided to continue her education at the University of Southern Maine where she earned her BA and started her Masters degree. She actively began writing nonfiction articles as well as short stories for newspapers and magazines. Upon the urging of an editor from Houghton Mifflin, a publishing company based in Boston, Lowry started writing what would eventually become her first novel, A Summer to Die. A story about two sisters one of whom faces imminent death from illness, the book that had been inspired by the death of her own sister earner Lowry much acclaim. With success in career, however, came failure in marriage. The same year her book was published, Lowry's marriage to Donald Lowry ended.

After the divorce, Lois eventually moved to Boston where she actively began writing for young people. She has written books that reflect the realities of her own life and depict various problems about coming of age. Her third novel Autumn Street was a autobiographical piece of work that portrayed a family living in Pennsylvania during the war. It was a serious piece of work after which Lois decided to write a happier, lighter work. This was the start of her famous Anastasia Krupnik series about a girl growing up in Cambridge. Number the Stars was, however, the book that earned the author wide acclaim as well as a Newbery Award. It was a book based on a factual account of a Danish woman she had met in Maine. She did extensive historical research and even made a trip to Denmark in order to feel what her characters would in the book.

If Number the Stars was a book about the past, her next work The Giver was a book about the future. It earned Lowry her second Newbery Medal in 1994. Upon receiving the award, Lowry explained that some of her life experiences and events had led her to the writing of the novel. Her years in Japan as well as her college days at Brown had all helped her write the book. There were specific events in her life such as a trip to Germany and a visit to her father in a nursing home that had led her to think about issues such as pain, memories, and choices-themes that run throughout The Giver.

Lowry says that her reason for writing for young people is that she likes remembering her own life as a child while writing. Another reason is that much of her early adulthood was spent taking care of and thinking about the lives of her four children. Her experiences with her children taught her the importance of "treating young people with sensitivity and compassion."

Bibliography

"Lois Lowry." Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Writers for Children since 1960. 1986 ed.

"Lois Lowry." Something About the Author. 1987 ed.

"Lowry, Lois." Majors Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults. 1993 ed.

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., New York, 1993.

Plot Summary

Where Jonas lives, life is safe, orderly, and predictable. Rules are strictly adhered to; every aspect of a person's life is carefully planned. People rarely make choices on their own; everything is decided for them by the community. There is no snow or sunshine, no colors or music, no animals or nature.

People in the community take special care to avoid doing or saying anything different. In the community, one must not say anything that causes discomfort to others, and one must use language precisely. Husbands and wives are matched as couples by a Committee of Elders who reviews each individual to see if a person's characteristics will be compatible with those of his mate. Exactly two children-one male and one female-are assigned to each family unit. The elderly live at the House of the Old. Those whose children have grown to have families of their own live with other Childless Adults. Newborn infants are nurtured at the Nurturing Center until they become Ones and are assigned to family units.

When Jonas and other Elevens become Twelves in December, they receive their Assignments that assign them to their particular fields of profession. As someone with intelligence, integrity, courage, and a certain special capacity, Jonas is selected for the most honored and respected Assignment in the community. He is assigned to become a Receiver of Memories who will succeed the current Receiver. A Receiver of Memories is the one person in the community who has access to all the memories of the past. He must keep these memories within himself until he can train a new Receiver to whom he can pass them. Thus, the Receiver has knowledge of things that no one in the community has access to, but the Receiver also has the responsibility to shoulder the burden of sorrow and pain that the memories bring.

Jonas begins his training with the Receiver whom he calls The Giver. At first, The Giver gives Jonas happy memories of the past-memories of things Jonas has never known. Jonas is eager and excited to be able to experience new things. But The Giver must also give Jonas memories of loneliness, fear, grief, rage, and pain-all of which he has never felt in the community. Gradually, through the memories he receives from The Giver, Jonas comes to realize the various truths about the community. He realizes that it is unfair to deprive people of ever being able to make choices for themselves about their own lives. He understands that the people of the community have no genuine feelings. Feelings have never been a part of their lives. He also learns that there are different ways to live. Through the memories, he sees people in the past living differently, and feels that the community must change.

Together with The Giver, Jonas comes up with a plan to change the entire community. He decides to flee the community for the Elsewhere, a place he has only heard about that lies far beyond. If Jonas leaves, the memories he has received from The Giver will be let loose. They will find their way back to the community and to the people. The people will have ready access to the memories that will, in turn, give them knowledge about things that have been missing in their lives. They will come to the same kind of awakening that Jonas did when he was given memories of the past from The Giver.

Jonas departs for the long and difficult journey during which he faces cold and starvation as well as the danger of being found. Seeing lights in the far distance after having come a long way, Jonas is confident that he has reached his destination.

Major Characters

Jonas: Jonas is the pale-eyed Eleven who is chosen to become the next Receiver of Memories in the community. His Assignment is the most honored and respected one, and Jonas has the intelligence, integrity, and courage needed to become a Receiver. As he begins his training with The Giver and slowly understands the truth about the community, however, Jonas feels that things must change. Planning together with The Giver, Jonas decides to flee the community forever in order to unleash all the memories that have been kept from the citizens for so long.

The Receiver/ The Giver : As the most venerated and regarded Elder in the community, The Receiver has the access to all the memories of the past. The Receiver, later called 'The Giver' by Jonas, has similarly pale eyes like those of Jonas and of Gabriel. He trains Jonas to succeed him as the next Receiver of Memories. He is an old, grave man who has been wearied by the burden of carrying alone the sorrow and the pain that memories bring. Jonas makes him realize that the community needs to change, and he agrees to a plan that will make everyone have access to the memories of the past. To Jonas who is often confused and frustrated as a result of his training, The Giver is a paternal figure who provides guidance as well as wisdom.

Mother: Jonas's mother is an eminent official at the Department of Justice before whom offenders of rules are brought to be judged. She is responsible for upholding rules in the community. She works many hours even at home. Jonas's parents are a perfect match for one another in terms of 'disposition, energy level, intelligence, and interests.' Mother is more intelligent than Father, but Father has a calmer disposition.

Father: Jonas's father is a Nurturer at the Nurturing Center who takes care of children who are newly born. Shy and quiet, he has 'a calmer disposition' than that of Jonas's mother, although less intelligence. He appropriately complements her as a spouse.

Lily: Lily is Jonas's talkative little sister who is a Seven. At the December Ceremony, she becomes an Eight who wears a jacket that newly identifies her as an Eight and starts her volunteer activities in the community. To Jonas, it seems that 'Lily's feelings [are] always straightforward, fairly simple, usually easy to resolve.'

Gabriel: Gabriel is a newchild who is one of the fifty being taken care of at the Nurturing Center. Gabriel is placed in the 'extra care section for supplementary nurturing' because he does not grow normally like other children and does not sleep well. Jonas's father brings Gabriel home at nights to spend time with the family. Like Jonas, Gabriel has pale eyes which are rare in the community where most of the citizens have dark eyes. Spending his nights at Jonas's family dwelling, Gabriel is able to sleep soundly by Jonas's bedside because Jonas gives him peaceful, serene memories to help him sleep. Later, however, Gabriel is chosen to be released from the community, and Jonas takes Gabriel to save him from being killed.

Asher: Asher is Jonas's best friend. He is clumsy, careless, and imprecise with words, but cheerful and good-humored. When he becomes a Twelve, Asher receives the Assignment of Assistant Director of Recreation. He and Jonas gradually grow distant as Jonas receives training and begins to understand the truth about the community.

Fiona: Fiona is Jonas's other friend. Her Assignment as a Twelve is that of a Caretaker of the Old at the House of the Old. Fiona is 'a sensitive, gentle girl' whom Jonas likes. At the end, however, Fiona also grows apart from Jonas because she cannot understand him and his Assignment as Receiver of Memories.

Rosemary: Rosemary was a girl Eleven who had been chosen to succeed The Giver as the next Receiver of Memories ten years ago. Although her training had begun well, it had eventually failed. She could not bear the pain and the sorrow of many of the memories that were being given to her. After training one day, she went to the Chief Elder to apply for a release from the community. When Rosemary was released, the memories she had been given came back to the community and to the people because memories are forever. The people of the community suffered as a result because they did not know how to cope with pain.

Minor Characters

Benjamin: Benjamin is the Eleven who has spent most of his volunteer hours at the Rehabilitation Center where injured people are treated. Because of his experience there, Benjamin is said to be as skilled as the Directors at the Center, and his Assignment will most likely be at the Rehabilitation Center.

Larissa: Larissa is the old woman at the House of the Old whom Jonas helps bathe during his last volunteer hours. During her bath, Larissa tells Jonas about a Ceremony of Release they had for a man named Roberto earlier that day and another recent release for a woman named Edna. After meeting her, Jonas remembers 'her sparkling eyes, her soft voice, her low chuckle.' Later, he learns from Fiona that she has also been released.

Roberto: Roberto is an elderly man at the House of the Old whom Jonas had once helped feed. When Jonas goes again to the House of the Old and meets Larissa, she tells him that Roberto had been released earlier that day. During his release, his life as an Instructor of Elevens, a member of the Planning Committee, and a father of two successful children had been celebrated.

Edna: Edna is another elderly woman whom Larissa talks about. She had also been released recently, but her life telling had not been very interesting like Roberto's had been during his release. She had been a Birthmother, then a Laborer in Food Production. She hadn't even had a family.

Caleb: Caleb had been a cheerful child-a Four who was lost in the river. During the December Ceremony, a newchild is named Caleb in order to replace the Caleb who had been lost earlier. The community performs a Murmur-of-Replacement Ceremony during which people in the audience repeats the name 'Caleb,' getting louder and faster as if they are bringing the lost Caleb back.

Fritz: Fritz is an awkward, clumsy boy in the community. When he receives his bicycle as a Nine, Fritz immediately bumps into the podium. He is known for his minor careless mistakes, 'but each such error [reflects] negatively on his parents' guidance and [infringes] on the community's sense of order and success.'

Chief Elder: The Chief Elder is the leader of the community who is newly elected every ten years. At the December Ceremony, the Chief Elder makes speeches and gives out Assignments to the Elevens.

Committee of Elders: The Committee of Elders is a group of Elders in the community whose long robes distinguish them from the rest of the citizens. The Elders make important decisions about matters concerning the community. They observe children during school hours as well as during recreation and volunteer hours in order to give them their appropriate Assignments. The Elders also observe citizens to match them with appropriate spouses and assign them to children. The Giver who is also a member of the Committee occasionally meets with the other Elders to give them advice when they need counsel on things that are new or unfamiliar to them.

Pierre: Pierre is a fellow Eleven whose number is Twenty. Jonas does not like Pierre very much because he is 'very serious, not much fun, and a worrier and tattletale.' He is always worried about abiding by the most trivial rules in the community. During the ceremony, the Chief Elder skips Jonas to give Pierre his Assignment.

Madeline: Madeline is a female Eleven who is Number One. As the first born newchild during her year, Madeline is given her Assignment first as a Fish Hatchery Attendant. Jonas thinks that he would not have liked Madeline's Assignment.

Inger : Inger is a female Eleven who is Number Two. She is assigned as a Birthmother. Jonas thinks that this is an appropriate Assignment for Inger who is 'nice,' but 'lazy'

Issac: Issac, Three, is given an Assignment as Instructor of Sixes.

Katherine : Katharine is a Six who has pale eyes like those of Jonas. Like The Giver and Jonas who both have pale eyes, it is expected that she will also be selected to become a Receiver in the future.

Objects/Places

Community: The community refers to where Jonas and the rest of the citizens live. There are said to be similar communities nearby.

Speaker: There are speakers in family dwellings and all throughout the community that make announcements and reminders. Only The Giver is able to turn these speakers off when he wishes.

Childcare Center : The Childcare Center is where children like Lily spend their after-school hours.

Newchild: A newchild is a newly born child who is taken care of by the Nurturers at the Nurturing Center until they become Ones. There are always fifty newchildren each year, and when they become Ones at the December Ceremony, they are named and given to families.

Evening telling of Feelings: The evening telling of feelings is one of the many rituals in every family dwelling. Each member of the family takes turns to talk about his or her feelings regarding what has happened earlier that day.

Nurturer: A Nurturer works at the Nurturing Center taking care of newchildren. Jonas's father is a Nurturer. Night-crew Nurturers, on the other hand, are people who '[lack] the interest or skills or insight for the more vital jobs of the daytime hours.'

Release : A release is the worst punishment in the community. When people are released, they are sent Elsewhere, never to be seen again. There are, however, two occasions when the release is not a punishment-the release of the elderly and the release of newchildren. When an elderly person is released, there is a celebration during which the person's life is told before others at the House of the Old. No one knows what exactly happens to the person when he or she is released, but after the telling, the person walks through a special door in the Releasing Room, never to be seen again. Newchildren are released from the community if they are unable to grow normally. When newchildren are released, it is not a celebration, but rather a sad occasion because they have not yet had a chance to live within the community. Later, Jonas discovers that when a person is released, he or she is actually being put to sleep.

Department of Justice: The Department of Justice is where Jonas's mother works, and it is a place where offenders of the law are brought to be judged. It is a place that upholds rules in the community.

Ceremony in December (Ceremony of Twelve) : The Ceremony in December is a yearly ceremony held every December. It is when newchildren become Ones, Ones become Twos, until Elevens become Twelves. When Elevens become Twelves, they receive Assignments which designate their roles in the community. Some become Birthmothers; others become Laborers or Instructors of children. Some are placed in the Rehabilitation Center or in the House of the Old.

Naming List : The Naming List is drafted by a committee, and it is a list of the names of all the newchildren who will become Ones during the Ceremony in December. It is a document that is kept in the Nurturing Center. Jonas's father takes a peek at the Naming List in order to learn Gabriel's name.

Bicycle: Children receive their bicycles when they become Nines. There is a rule that states that bicycle riding is prohibited before children become Nines, but it is frequently broken.

Assignments: When children become Twelves, they are given Assignments which designate their jobs in the community.

Hall of Open Records: The Hall of Open Records contains all information regarding every citizen in the community.

Comfort objects: Children who are not yet Eights are given comfort objects that they sleep with. When they become Eights, their comfort objects are taken away to be recycled to younger children. Many comfort objects are 'soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures' such as elephants and bears.

Birthmothers: Some females receive Assignments in the community as Birthmothers. For three years, they give three births after which they spend the rest of their lives as Laborers. When Lily says that birthmothers are fortunate to get good food and time to 'play and amuse themselves,' Jonas's mother tells Lily that 'there is very little honor' in being a Birthmother. Although Birthmothers give births, they do not even get the chance to see their newchildren.

Laborers: Laborers are those in the community who perform physical labor. Birthmothers become Laborers after their three-year period of giving three births.

Apple: One day during the recreation period, Jonas sees an apple change in a strange way. He is playing catch with Asher, and Jonas sees the apple change in mid-air. Later, Jonas learns from The Giver that this had been his first time seeing the color red.

Rehabilitation Center: The Rehabilitation Center is where citizens go when they are injured. An Eleven named Benjamin who has spent many of his volunteer hours there is said to be as skilled as the directors at the Center. That he will most likely be assigned to the field of Rehabilitation is little disputed in the community.

Auditorium: The Auditorium is a large building where public events are held. This is where the Ceremony in December is held every year.

House of the Old: The House of the Old is where the elderly citizens live in the community. It is a peaceful, quiet place where its inhabitants spend time 'sitting quietly, some visiting and talking with one another, others doing handwork and simple crafts' in each of its well-furnished rooms.

Stirring: Talking about a dream he has had, Jonas explains that he was with Fiona. Wanting her to undress herself and enter a bathtub, Jonas had felt 'a wanting' in his dream. When he tells his parents about the dream, they tell him that he has had his first Stirring which usually begins with a dream. In the community, everyone must report Stirrings and take pills to treat them and make them disappear.

Ritual of Telling Dreams: The telling of dreams is a morning ritual when every member of the family tells his or her dreams. Everyone listens carefully and discusses with one another what the dreams might have signified. Usually, Jonas does not have much to say because he rarely dreams.

Front-buttoned jacket: Children get front-buttoned jackets when they become Sevens. As the 'first sign of independence...[and] the first very visible symbol of growing up,' the jackets have buttons in the front. Fours, Fives, and Sixes wear jackets that have buttons in the back so that they will learn to depend on one another to dress themselves.

Family Unit/ Family dwelling : A family unit in the community consists of parents and exactly two children-one boy and one girl. The family lives together until the children grow old enough to have families of their own. The parents, then, go and live with other Childless Adults and eventually go to the House of the Old where they will spend the rest of their lives until being released. Newchildren are assigned to their family units when they become Ones at the Ceremony in December.

Ceremony of Loss: When a Four named Caleb had been lost in the river, the community performed the Ceremony of Loss, repeating Caleb's name, getting softer and less frequent 'so that the little Four seemed to fade away gradually from everyone's consciousness.'

Mumur of Replacement Ceremony: A Murmur of Replacement Ceremony is performed when a newchild bearing Caleb's name is given to the parents who had lost the Four in the river. The community begins to chant Caleb's name, getting louder and faster 'as if the first Caleb were returning.'

Matching of Spouses: The Committee of Elders does Matching of Spouses. An adult applies for a spouse, and the Committee must approve the Match. Sometimes, an adult waits for a long period of time before being given a spouse. Factors such as 'disposition, energy level, intelligence, and interests' must be compatible.

Placement of newchildren: The Committee of Elders also oversees Placement of newchildren in family units. The Committee observes couples for three years before granting them the permission to apply for children. Both Matching of Spouses as well as Placement of newchildren are done with much consideration and care by the Committee.

Smacks: In the community, there is a disciplinary system of smacks for small children. Children who misbehave are given smacks with 'a thin, flexible weapon that [stings] painfully' by childcare specialists. Children are given one smack on the hands for a minor offense and three smacks on the legs for a second offense.

Name Not-to-Be-Spoken: In the community, there are names that are designated Not-to-Be-Spoken. As the 'highest degree of disgrace,' the name is to be never mentioned nor used again for a newchild. The name of the Eleven who had been selected to become a Receiver ten years ago is a name Not-to-Be-Spoken.

The Annex: The Annex is The Giver's dwelling behind the House of the Old. This is where Jonas begins to receive his training. When one pushes the buzzer, one is let in by a female Attendant. A door leads to The Giver's room, and it is the only one locked in the community where no doors are ever locked. The receptionist explains to Jonas who is puzzled that it is to 'ensure The Receiver's privacy.'

Memory: The Giver explains to Jonas that Jonas's Assignment as the next Receiver is to receive memories from The Giver. He tells Jonas that they are not simply memories of The Giver's past, but 'the memories of the whole world... generations before...that [go] beyond-all that is Elsewhere-and all that [go] back, and back, and back.' As a Receiver, The Giver received them, and memories are 'how wisdom comes... and how [people] shape [their] future.' They are also what weary and burden The Giver who must keep all of them to himself.

Sled/Snow: The first memory that Jonas receives from The Giver is that of going down a snow-covered hill on a sled.

Climate Control: The Giver explains to Jonas that with Climate Control, snow eventually became 'obsolete' because it hindered food growing as well as transportation.

Sameness: With Sameness being instituted, people in the community eventually did not have to make any choices. Everything was made to be the same. People's skin, hair, and eye colors were mostly the same. There were no colors or music, nor changes in weather. By being given memories, Jonas understands what the world was like before Sameness.

Color (red): When Jonas first begins to see colors, he sees the color red. First he sees it in an apple that he throws around with Asher one day during recreation period. He also sees it in Fiona's red hair as she walks away from him. Upon being instructed by The Giver, Jonas sees that the sled from the first memory he had been given is also red.

Capacity to See beyond: When the Chief Elder speaks about Jonas's special Assignment as the Receiver of Memories during the Ceremony in December, she says that one last quality necessary for the Receiver is a Capacity to See Beyond. Later, Jonas learns that this capacity was his ability to see colors. For The Giver, it had been a Capacity to Hear Beyond-his ability to listen to music.

Books: When Jonas first goes to The Giver to be trained, he notices that The Giver's room is filled with books. In his home as in other family dwellings, there are only books like the dictionary, books describing offices, factories, and other buildings, and the Book of Rules. He is surprised to see that there are other books as well. Later, The Giver tells him that as the Receiver of Memories, only Jonas and he will ever have access to these books in the community.

Elsewhere: Elsewhere is the place beyond the community. There are stories about people being sent or going Elsewhere, but no one in the community knows for certain that it is there. Asher talks about someone who swam across the river to join another community. According to the rules, it is possible to apply for a release to go Elsewhere. In general, when people are released, they go Elsewhere. Jonas first begins to wonder where Elsewhere exactly is and what it is like, but as his training continues, he comes to believe that there really is an Elsewhere where there are things that he merely sees in his memories. At the end, Jonas decides to flee the community and go seek the Elsewhere he has dreamed and thought about. If Jonas goes away, all the memories he has been given will be let loose for the citizens in the community. After his long, exhausting journey, Jonas sees lights and thinks that it is the Elsewhere he has longed for.

Hall of Closed Records: Tapes of private ceremonies that have been recorded are kept at the Hall of Closed Records.

Quotes

Quotes 1: "For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure." Chapter 1, pg. 2

Quotes 2: "After Twelve, age isn't important. Most of us even lose track of how old we are as time passes, though information is in the Hall of Open Records... What's important is the preparation for adult life, and the training you'll receive in your Assignment." Chapter 2, pg. 17

Quotes 3: "No one mentioned such things; it was not a rule, but was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals." Chapter 3, pg. 20

Quotes 4: "He liked the feeling of safety here in this warm and quiet room; he liked the expression of trust on the woman's face as she lay in the water unprotected, exposed, and free." Chapter 4, pg. 30

Quotes 5: "How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made." Chapter 6, pg. 48

Quotes 6: "He hunched his shoulders and tried to make himself smaller in the seat. He wanted to disappear, to fade away, not to exist. He didn't dare to turn and find his parents in the crowd. He couldn't bear to see their faces darkened with shame. Jonas bowed his head and searched through his mind. What had he done wrong?" Chapter 7, pg. 58

Quotes 7: "You will be faced, now, with pain of a magnitude that none of us here can comprehend because it is beyond our experience. The Receiver himself was not able to describe it, only to remind us that you would be faced with it, that you would need immense courage." Chapter 8, pg. 63

Quotes 8: "But when he looked out across the crowd, the sea of faces, the thing happened again. The thing that had happened with the apple. They changed. He blinked, and it was gone. His shoulder straightened slightly. Briefly he felt a tiny sliver of sureness for the first time." Chapter 8, pg. 64

Quotes 9: "There was just a moment when things weren't quite the same, weren't quite as they had always been through the long friendship." Chapter 9, pg. 66

Quotes 10: "He was so completely, so thoroughly accustomed to courtesy within the community that the thought of asking another citizen an intimate question, f calling someone's attention to an area of awkwardness, was unnerving." Chapter 9, pg. 69

Quotes 11: "What if others-adults-had, upon becoming Twelves, received in their instructions the same terrifying sentence? What if they had all been instructed: You may lie?" Chapter 9, pg. 71

Quotes 12: "Simply stated, although it's not really simple at all, my job is to transmit to you all the memories I have within me. Memories of the past." Chapter 10, pg. 77

Quotes 13: " Now he became aware of an entirely new sensation: pinpricks? No, because they were soft and without pain. Tiny, cold, featherlike feelings peppered his body and face. He put out his tongue again, and caught one of the dots of cold upon it. It disappeared from his awareness instantly; but he caught another, and another. The sensation made him smile." Chapter 11, pg. 80.

Quotes 14: "He was free to enjoy the breathless glee that overwhelmed him: the speed, the clear cold air, the total silence, the feeling of balance and excitement and peace." Chapter 11, pg. 82

Quotes 15: "Always in the dream, it seemed as if there were a destination: a something-he could not grasp what-that lay beyond the place where the thickness of snow brought the sled to a stop. He was left, upon awakening, with the feeling that he wanted, even somehow needed, to reach the something that waited in the distance. The feeling that it was good. That it was welcoming. That it was significant. But he did not know how to get there." Chapter 12, pg. 88

Quotes 16: "Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others." Chapter 12, pg. 95

Quotes 17: "He found that he was often angry...that they were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on. And he was angry at himself, that he could not change that for them." Chapter 13, pg. 99

Quotes 18: "Now he saw another elephant emerge from the place where it had stood hidden in the trees. Very slowly it walked to the mutilated body and looked down. With its sinuous trunk it struck the huge corpse; then it reached up, broke some leafy branches with a snap, and draped them over the mass of torn thick flesh. Finally it tilted its massive head, raised its trunk, and roared into the empty landscape...It was a sound of rage and grief and it seemed never to end." Chapter 13, pg. 100

Quotes 19: "Sometimes I wish they'd ask for my wisdom more often-there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable-so painless. It's what they've chosen." Chapter 13, pg. 103

Quotes 20: "He wondered what lay in the far distance where he had never gone. The land didn't end beyond those nearby community. Were there hills Elsewhere? Were there vast wind-torn areas like the place he had seen in memory, the place where the elephants died?" Chapter 13, pg. 106

Quotes 21: "The sled hit a bump in the hill and Jonas is jarred loose and thrown violently into the air. He fell with his leg twisted under him, and could hear the crack of bone. His face scraped along jagged edges of ice...Then, the first wave of pain. He gasped. It was as if a hatchet lay lodged in his leg, slicing through each nerve with a hot blade. In his agony, he perceived the word 'fire' and felt flames licking at the torn bone and flesh." Chapter 14, pg. 109

Quotes 22: "Was there someone there, waiting, who would receive the tiny released twin? Would it grow up Elsewhere, not knowing, ever, that in this community lived a being who looked exactly the same? For a moment, he felt a tiny, fluttering hope that he knew was quite foolish. He hoped that it would be Larissa, waiting. Larissa, the old woman he had bathed." Chapter 14, pg. 115

Quotes 23: "Jonas began to remember the wonderful sail that The Giver had given him not long before: a bright, breezy day on a clear turquoise lake, and above him the white sail of the boat billowing as he moved along in the brisk wind." Chapter 14, pg. 116

Quotes 24: "...the half-closed eyes of a boy who seemed not much older than himself. Dirt streaked the boy's face and his matted blond hair. He lay sprawled, his gray uniform glistening with wet, fresh blood. The colors of the carnage were grotesquely bright: the crimson wetness on the rough and dusty fabric, the ripped shred of grass, startlingly green, in the boy's yellow hair." Chapter 15, pg. 119

Quotes 25: "Things could change, Gabe. Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents. And everybody would have memories. You know about memories." Chapter 16, pg. 128

Quotes 26: "His childhood, his friendships, his carefree sense of security-all of these things [seem] to be slipping away. With his new, heightened feelings, he was overwhelmed by sadness at the way the others had laughed and shouted, playing at war. But he knew that they could not understand why, without the memories. He felt such love for Asher and for Fiona. But they could not feel it back, without the memories. And he could not give them those." Chapter 17, pg. 135

Quotes 27: "Memories are forever." Chapter 18, pg. 144

Quotes 28: "Jonas felt a ripping sensation inside himself, the feeling of terrible pain clawing its way forward to emerge in a cry." Chapter 19, pg. 151

Quotes 29: "It's the way they live. It's the life that was created for them. It's the same life that you would have, if you had not been chosen as my successor." Chapter 20, pg. 153

Quotes 30: If he had stayed in the community, he would not be. It was as simple as that. Once he had yearned for choice. Then, when he has had a choice, he had made the wrong one: the choice to leave. And now he was starving." Chapter 22, pg. 174

Quote 31: "It was not a grasping of thin and burdensome recollection; this was different. This was something that he could keep. It was a memory of his own" Chapter 23, pg. 178

Quotes 32: "For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo." Chapter 23, pg. 180

Topic Tracking: Choice

Chapter 4

Choice 1: People in the community rarely make choices on their own. Much of their lives are pre-planned and organized, always decided for them, but volunteer hours are an exception. One can choose where he will spend his volunteer hours. On the last day of his volunteering, Jonas thinks to himself that he has always liked being able to make this choice.

Chapter 6

Choice 2: Every aspect of one's life such as one's spouse, children, and job is decided by the Committee of Elders. Because all choices regarding an individual are so carefully thought out and decided, Jonas finds it hard to believe that anyone would want to be released from the community.

Chapter 11

Choice 3: Choices were made long time ago to do away with things like snow and hills. Sameness was chosen. When Jonas says that he would like things like snow and hill every now and then, The Giver explains that they don't have the power of choice over such things.

Chapter 12

Choice 4: Talking about colors, The Giver explains that when people chose to go to Sameness, they made a choice to live without things such as colors. This way, they were able to control many aspects of their lives, but at the same time, they had to give up certain things too. Choices had been made to relinquish other choices.

Chapter 13

Choice 5: As time passes, Jonas is able to see different colors, but only momentarily. He becomes frustrated and angry because he thinks it is unfair that there are no colors in the community. Without things like color, people cannot make choices. The Giver agrees, but also suggests that it might be dangerous to allow people to make choices. They might end up making unwise ones.

Choice 6: The Giver explains that the Elders are seldom willing to make changes in the community. This is because they like their lives to be predictable and well-planned. They have chosen to have their lives this way.

Chapter 14

Choice 7: When Jonas suggests that everyone should share memories so that one person wouldn't have to shoulder the burden of carrying them alone, The Giver says that the choice is not theirs to make. The decision to have a Receiver of Memories was made a long time ago, and it is not something that can be easily changed.

Chapter 16

Choice 8: After having been given the memory of death and warfare in which he watches a boy die before his very eyes, Jonas does not want to return to the Annex for his training. But he also realizes that he does not have the choice in the matter. He has been selected to become a Receiver.

Choice 9: Jonas makes a deliberate choice to stop taking his morning pills that treat the Stirrings. It is his first time making a choice of his own regarding a matter that has already been decided by the community.

Chapter 19

Choice 10: The Giver tells Jonas that he had watched Rosemary during her release. During the release, she had chosen to inject herself.

Chapter 20

Choice 11: To Jonas who is confused and stunned to have learned that "release" is actually murder, The Giver explains that people in the community live that way because their lives have already been decided for them. Choices and decisions have already been made for them.

Chapter 22

Choice 12: For a moment, Jonas thinks that perhaps he has made a wrong choice to leave the community. He is starving and cold, on the verge of giving up. But he quickly thinks that if he had stayed, Gabriel would have been killed so there really hadn't been a choice to make. He couldn't have let Gabriel be killed.

Topic Tracking: Feelings

Chapter 1

Feelings 1: Jonas feels frightened when he encounters an unfamiliar scene in which an aircraft is flying over the community.

Feelings 2: Trying to precisely describe his feelings, Jonas decides that "frightened" is too strong a word. He decides that he is "apprehensive" about the upcoming December Ceremony.

Feelings 3: Every evening in family dwellings, family members share their feelings for the day. The rest of the family, in turn, helps to resolve them.

Feelings 4: Jonas must take pills every morning to stop the feeling of wanting, Stirrings, from coming back. Although he does as he is told, Jonas thinks that he had actually liked the feelings in his dreams.

Chapter 5

Feelings 5: The Committee decides to give Gabriel one more year to be nurtured at the Nurturing Center. Meanwhile, until next year, Gabriel will continue to spend his nights with Jonas's family. But, on the condition that Gabriel will stay at the family dwelling, Jonas's family must sign "pledges" that they will not become attached to the baby and will readily give him up when the time comes for Gabriel's assignment to another family.

Chapter 6

Feelings 6: When spouses are matched by the Committee of Elders, many factors such as "disposition, energy level, intelligence, and interests" are all considered, but the feelings of the people concerned are not mentioned.

Feelings 7: When the Chief Elder skips Jonas's Assignment, everyone in the audience becomes uncomfortable. Jonas feels an array of emotions that ranges from confusion to terror.

Chapter 8

Feelings 8: Jonas is happy and excited as he slides downhill on the sled. The snow makes him smile, and he enjoys the speedy ride.

Chapter 11

Feelings 9: After having been given his first memory of the sled ride, Jonas repeatedly dreams about going downhill on the sled. When he wakes, he feels like he wants to get to the destination that "lies beyond." He feels that it is a "good, welcoming, significant" place.

Chapter 12

Feelings 10: Jonas is given a memory in which an elephant is brutally killed by men. After the men cut off the tusks of the elephant and speed away, another elephant comes to the corpse, roaring in "grief and rage." Jonas learns about "grief and rage" as he sees the elephant mourning the slaughter of his friend.

Chapter 13

Feelings 11: After being given a memory in which he is thrown into the air by a speeding sled, Jonas experiences true physical pain and agony. Unable to share his experience with the rest of his family, Jonas is lonely.

Chapter 14

Feelings 12: When Jonas asks his parents whether or not they love him, they explain to him that "love" is an outdated form of expression. They are proud of him and they enjoy his company, but they say that it is inappropriate to use the word "love" to describe their feelings for him. "Love" is not a feeling that they know.

Feelings 13: Jonas decides not to take the pills anymore. He wants the Stirrings, the feelings of wanting, to come back.

Chapter 16

Feelings 14: Although he feels guilty about the Stirrings that have returned as a result of his not taking the pills, Jonas thinks to himself that he cannot return to not being able to feel things.

Feelings 15: As a result of the memories he is receiving, Jonas thinks that he is experiencing feelings he has never felt before at a newer "depth." He realizes that the kinds of feelings that Mother, Father, and Lily feel are not genuine; they are only shallow feelings.

Feelings 16: Asher is annoyed that Jonas has ruined their game of war. Although Jonas tries to explain to him that it is actually a cruel game, Asher does not listen. Understanding that he knows things that Asher and Fiona can never know, Jonas "is overwhelmed by sadness." Having been given memories, he knows how to feel love, but he realizes that Asher and Fiona cannot feel it.

Chapter 17

Feelings 17: The Giver explains that he loved Rosemary just as he loves Jonas now. Unlike others, The Giver and Jonas are capable of feeling "love."

Chapter 18

Feelings 18: Jonas finally learns that when people are released, they are actually killed. The Giver explains that Fiona is already training to perform releases. Feelings have no place in her life; she has never learned them.

Chapter 20

Feelings 19: Trying to comfort Jonas who has just learned about releases, The Giver explains that they will make a plan to change the community. There are memories of times when people once felt things like pride, sorrow, and love, and The Giver realizes that the community should change.

Feelings 20: As Jonas continues his journey, he faces new, uninhabited territory as well as new wildlife creatures he has never before seen. He also faces new feelings within himself such as happiness at being in a "new landscape" and fear of starvation.

Chapter 22

Feelings 21: Starving and tired, Jonas thinks for a second that perhaps he has made a mistake in leaving the community. He would not be starving in the community. But he quickly reminds himself that if he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have starved for "feelings, for color, for love."

Topic Tracking: Memory

Chapter 5

Memory 1: After telling his parents about his dream, Jonas is told that he must treat the Stirrings by taking a pill every morning. The pill makes the feeling of wanting disappear. On his way to school, Jonas thinks that he had actually liked the feeling in his dream and tries to remember it. But he finds that he can no longer remember; his memory of the feeling has vanished.

Chapter 10

Memory 2: After explaining to Jonas that he has within him all the memories of the past, The Giver says that the memories are a burden he must carry. The burden is so heavy and oppressive that it wearies and ages him.

Chapter 11

Memory 3: Having given Jonas a memory of snow and sled, The Giver confesses that transmitting even that small memory has slightly eased his burden. Although he has others, he no longer has that specific memory; it has become something that Jonas must keep within himself.

Chapter 12

Memory 4: The first memory Jonas receives from The Giver comes back to him in dreams. He repeatedly dreams about sledding down the snowy hill.

Chapter 13

Memory 5: One day, Jonas is given a sad memory of an elephant being brutally slaughtered. It is his very first "disturbing" memory from which he learns about real "grief and rage."

Memory 6: Long ago, everyone had ready access to memories, but now, memories are kept only by the Receiver. Ten years ago, with the failure of the new Receiver, memories had been let loose, and people had been able to access them. There had been chaos because people could not handle the pain and the sorrow that some of the memories brought.

Memory 7: When Jonas tells The Giver what he has learned in school about how the brain works, The Giver comments bitterly that without memories, everything is "meaningless."

Chapter 14

Memory 8: For the first time, The Giver gives Jonas a memory of great physical pain. It is a memory in which he is sledding downhill uncontrollably until he is thrown into the air, eventually falling on the ground. It is a memory that gives Jonas an understanding of true physical pain, something the rest of the citizens in the community never feel. Whenever there are accidents, people are immediately given medication or shots to ease their pain. When Jonas asks for relief-of-pain after the memory, however, The Giver refuses to give it to him.

Memory 9: Jonas cannot understand why he must keep memories. The Giver explains to him that memories give wisdom which he needs in order to advise the rest of the Elders on issues. When the Committee was considering increasing the population in the community, The Giver had advised against it, thinking of the various memories he had of destruction that had followed starvation. When the unknown aircraft flew over the community, The Giver had told the Committee to wait before shooting it down, thinking of memories in which people had destroyed one another in fear and in haste. Like this, memories give wisdom by providing insights to the past.

Memory 10: When Gabriel fusses at night, Jonas unwittingly gives the baby a memory of breeze, lake, and a sailboat. The calm, peaceful memory helps Gabriel sleep more soundly at night.

Chapter 15

Memory 11: The Giver gives Jonas a memory of death and warfare. Jonas watches as a young boy slowly dies before his eyes. It is a memory that has been torturing The Giver. After giving it to Jonas, The Giver asks to be forgiven for having imparted such great anguish and pain to Jonas.

Chapter 16

Memory 12: Although he must give Jonas painful memories, The Giver also transmits many good memories to him that teach Jonas the value of human-animal bonds and the joys of solitude.

Memory 13: The Giver also gives Jonas his personal favorite memory. It is a memory of family, presents, food, and warmth. Jonas understands "love" through this memory.

Memory 14: Through memories, Jonas sees that there are other ways to live. He understands that although the way of living in the community is carefully planned and practical, there have been other ways of doing things in the past. In The Giver's favorite memory, Jonas sees that grandparents live with the rest of the family. In the community, the elderly live by themselves at the House of the Old.

Memory 15: As a result of the memories he has been receiving, Jonas comes to decide not to take the morning pills that make Stirrings disappear.

Chapter 17

Memory 16: The memories also enable Jonas to experience new feelings at greater depth. Having seen things like colors and oceans, Jonas realizes that the kind of feelings his family and other citizens in the community feel are not genuine-only shallow feelings.

Memory 17: Jonas is sad and lonely that he cannot share his love with his friends-Asher and Fiona. He has come to feel love for them through the memories, but his friends are unable to feel such things because they do not have access to the memories.

Chapter 18

Memory 18: Telling Jonas the story of Rosemary, the failed Receiver ten years ago, The Giver explains that memories are "forever." If Jonas were to be lost in the river, his memories would still live on. They would somehow find their way back to the people in the community just as Rosemary's had when she had been released.

Chapter 19

Memory 19: Watching the release of the smaller twin baby, Jonas recognizes that the baby has died just as the young boy had in the memory of warfare. The earlier memory helps him realize that his father has killed the infant.

Chapter 20

Memory 20: Through memories that show times when things were different and people felt real feelings, The Giver has come to realize that he and Jonas should try to change the community. The Giver understands that memories are best shared among people.

Memory 21: A memory that The Giver has been keeping to himself is that of music or the Capacity to Hear Beyond. Jonas had begun to see colors before receiving his Assignment. When he had been Jonas's age, The Giver had started to hear music.

Chapter 21

Memory 22: Jonas uses different memories he has received from The Giver to help him out on his difficult journey. Using memories of exhaustion, he helps Gabriel sleep. With memories of snow, he eludes the searchers who fly over them, using special devices to find them by detecting their body warmth. The farther he goes away from the community, however, Jonas can feel his memories becoming increasingly vague and faint. He knows that he is shedding them as they make their way back to the people of the community.

Chapter 23

Memory 23: Jonas tries to hold on to the memory of sunshine in order to warm himself and Gabriel from the cold, but the memory is faint at best. He is ready to give up, but memories of his family, friends, and The Giver sustain him.

Memory 24: Reaching the top of the hill, Jonas thinks to himself that he remembers the place. But the memory of the place is different from other memories he has struggled to hold onto. It is a "memory of his own" that he can keep.

Topic Tracking: Rules

Chapter 1

Rules 1: In the community where Jonas lives, a rigid set of rules dictates and regulates every moment of the lives of its citizens. Although there are few exceptions, People in the community strictly adhere to the rules. When rules are violated or anything out of the ordinary happens, the citizens often become uneasy and nervous. The importance of rules is established from the very beginning of the story. Jonas is scared to see an unknown aircraft in the sky because according to the rules, planes are usually prohibited from flying over the community.

Rules 2: Adhering to the rules of the community, Asher makes an apology to the entire class when he is tardy. Precision of language is also an important rule; one must say exactly what he means. When Asher uses the word "distraught" inappropriately, he is immediately corrected by the instructor.

Rules 3: Lily confesses to having felt angry when someone from another community came and broke the rules. Like Lily, many citizens express discomfort when rules are broken.

Rules 4: Another rule is that every family unit must have exactly two children-one female and one male. When Lily jokes about keeping Gabriel, Mother reminds her of the rules.

Rules 5: Offenders of rules are brought before people like Mother who works at the Department of Justice. For offenders, there are no third chances. Once someone commits a third offense, he is released from the community.

Chapter 2

Rules 6: Father confesses to having broken a rule and peeked at the Naming List of the newchildren to learn Gabriel's name. Compared to other offenses, however, this is minor and less serious.

Rules 7: There is a rule regarding riding bicycles. One is not allowed to ride bicycles until one becomes a Nine. However, it is a rule that is often broken, and there is much talk about changing it. A committee is examining the issue, but it is difficult to change rules in the community.

Rules 8: Comfort objects are given to every newchild, but according to the rules, they are taken away when children become Eights.

Chapter 3

Rules 9: In the community, there are also unspoken codes of behavior. They are not rules, but they are often as strictly adhered to and established as rules are. For example, people do not usually like to mention things that are different about others in order to avoid being impolite.

Rules 10: When Jonas once breaks a rule, he is immediately chastised by an announcement through the speakers. When he takes the apple home after seeing it change at the Recreational Center, an announcement is made to all male Elevens that things are not to be taken from the Recreation area. Although Jonas is not specifically mentioned, Jonas understands that the announcement is directed at him.

Chapter 4

Rules 11: There are also rules against bragging in the community. Thus, Jonas cannot talk to Benjamin about Benjamin's accomplishments at the Rehabilitation Center.

Rules 12: There are rules that specify how many volunteering hours one must complete in order to receive his Assignment as a Twelve. Long time ago, when an Eleven did not finish his volunteer hours, he had not been given his Assignment at the Ceremony, but had had to receive it separately.

Rules 13: The rules dictate that people in the community must not look at one another's nakedness, but the elderly and the newchildren are an exception from this rule.

Chapter 5

Rules 14: One must treat Stirrings by taking pills every morning. Although Jonas knows that Asher is already taking the pills, he has never mentioned it to Asher because it is rude to discuss what is different about someone else.

Chapter 6

Rules 15: There are things that each age group is allowed to do and wear. Fours, Fives, and Sixes must wear jackets that are buttoned in the back. Sevens can start volunteering and wearing front-buttoned jackets. Nines start riding bicycles. Every stage of one's life in the community is organized and controlled.

Rules 16: Similarly, Elevens start wearing new clothes that are appropriately designed for their changing bodies and activities.

Rules 17: Although no one knows for certain whether or not Elsewhere exists, the rules say that it is possible to ask to be released and go Elsewhere. Things in the community are so carefully organized and controlled, however, that Jonas finds it hard to believe that anyone would want to be released. There are even rules regarding such things as matching spouses or assigning children to families.

Chapter 7

Rules 18: Because of the rule regarding precision of language, Asher must be punished with smacks although he has really asked for snacks.

Chapter 8

Rules 19: When the Chief Elder mentions the failure of the Receiver ten years ago, everyone is uncomfortable. As a general rule, things that are "unsettling or different" are not talked about in the community so the Chief Elder chooses not to discuss it further.

Chapter 9

Rules 20: When Jonas becomes a Twelve and is given his Assignment, he is given a new set of rules that he must follow.

Chapter 10

Rules 21: Doors are never locked in the community, but Jonas notices that the door leading into The Giver's room is locked. He is confused and uneasy about this violation of rules, but the Attendant quickly reassures him that it is only to ensure The Giver's privacy.

Chapter 13

Rules 22: Although not a rule, people generally do not touch others who are not their family. When Jonas touches Asher, trying to give him a memory of the color red, Asher becomes uncomfortable that Jonas is not adhering to this code of conduct.

Chapter 16

Rules 23: Abiding by the rule of precision of language, Jonas's parents explain to him that "love" is an inappropriate word to use when describing their feelings toward him.

Chapter 1

With December approaching, Jonas feels frightened, but he immediately corrects himself. He was frightened when an unknown aircraft had twice flown over the community a year ago. It had been his first time seeing an aircraft fly over so closely because it is against the rules to fly over the community.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 1
Topic Tracking: Rules 1

This aircraft had been different from the usual cargo planes that occasionally delivered supplies to the community. Everyone had been confused, not knowing what to do until an order had been made through the speakers to enter the nearest building and stay there. Jonas remembers that he had been frightened. But the matter was soon resolved. An announcement was made through the speakers that it was a training pilot who had made a mistake. The speaker had added that the pilot would undoubtedly be released. "For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure." Chapter 1, pg. 2

Riding on his bicycle home, Jonas reminds himself of the fear that he had felt then. Always careful about language, he tries to think of the exact word to describe his feelings now. Jonas is different from his friend Asher who is careless with words. Asher is usually tardy to school, always having to make his public apologies in front of the classroom. He had made one earlier that day, apologizing to everyone and explaining his reasons for being late. In turn, the class had accepted Asher's apology in unison, and the instructor had corrected Asher's wrong use of the word "distraught."

Topic Tracking: Rules 2

Thinking back to this incident, Jonas feels that "frightened" may be too strong a word to describe his current feelings. He has long waited this special December, and decides that he is "apprehensive."

Topic Tracking: Feelings 2

After the evening meal, there is the evening telling of feelings. It is one of the routine rituals within the family dwelling. Jonas is hesitant to go first tonight, so he allows Lily, his little sister, to take her turn. Lily announces that she felt angry that afternoon because a group of Sevens had visited her Childcare group, and a boy had constantly cut in line in front of everyone else who had been waiting. Mother and Father suggest that perhaps the boy did not know the rules of their community too well because he was from another community.

Topic Tracking: Rules 3

After listening to her parents, Lily admits that she is no longer angry, but rather, sorry for the boy who must have felt awkward in a new place. Jonas thinks to himself that Lily's feelings are always "straightforward, fairly simple."

Topic Tracking: Feelings 3

Next, Jonas's father talks about his feeling of worry. Jonas's father is a Nurturer who takes care of every newchild during its earliest stage of life. Father talks about a male child who is not growing like the other children. The child does not sleep well and has to be put in the extra care section. Jonas, Lily, and Mother all sympathize because the child might be released. In the community, there are releases of the elderly and of the children. The elderly are released after having lived a full life, and the release is a celebration. When newchildren are released, however, it is sad because there is "a sense of what-could-we-have-done."

Father says that he is going to keep trying with the child. He has already asked the committee for permission to bring the child home because the night crew Nurturers are not as caring or skilled. Without the "capacity to connect to others," most of them do not even have spouses. Lily suggests jokingly that maybe they can keep the baby, but Mother reminds her of the rules. There can only be two children--a male and a female--in a family unit.

Topic Tracking: Rules 4

Mother who works at the Department of Justice talks about her feelings of frustration and anger. Someone who had broken the rules before had been brought before her again for repeat offense. She says that she was a bit frightened; within the community, there is no third chance. The man will most likely be released from the community.

Topic Tracking: Rules 5

Jonas, Lily, and Father comfort Mother, and she thanks them. Jonas's turn comes, and he confesses that he feels apprehensive about the Ceremony of Twelve in December. Mother and Father tell Lily to get ready for bed because they wish to talk to Jonas in private.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 4

Chapter 2

Jonas's parents begin talking about the Ceremony in December. During the conversation, Jonas remembers the ceremonies he has had before and the ceremonies he has seen. During the Ceremony of One, all newchildren who were born the year before turn One. There are always fifty in each year's group. During the ceremony, each one of them is brought up to the stage to be given names. At the mention of the ritual of Naming, Father guiltily admits that he broke a rule earlier that day. Despite rules against doing so, he peeked at the Naming List of the newchildren who had been born last year. He wanted to know the name of the boy he had brought home for the night, and found that it was to be Gabriel.

Topic Tracking: Rules 6

Jonas remembers the year he became a Five when Lily was given to the family unit. Jonas had gone up to the stage with his parents to receive her. Father then tells Jonas about his own Ceremony of Twelve. His own sister had gotten a bicycle as she became a Nine then. Although it had been against the rules, he had been teaching his sister how to ride the bike. Although the rules dictate the one cannot ride the bicycle before turning Nine, it is a rule that is frequently broken. Nowadays, there is much talk about changing this rule regarding riding the bicycle. A committee is looking into possibly making a change in the rules, but changing the rules is a long, hard process. If it is an important rule, The Receiver, as the most important elder in the community, is consulted.

Topic Tracking: Rules 7

Father continues talking about his experiences. He tells Jonas that for him, there was no suspense because he had already known what his Assignment would be. As a child, he had very often volunteered at the Nurturing Center, and his talent at caring for newchildren had been recognized by the Elders, who were constantly observing him and the other children. He was not surprised when he was assigned to become a Nurturer. Although appeals could be made in the case that one was unhappy with his Assignment, others in Father's group had been generally pleased with their respective Assignments.

Jonas tells his parents that he is worried about Asher's Assignment because Asher is never serious about anything. Mother assures him that the Elders will be able to assign him something proper for Asher. Mother tells Jonas: "After Twelve, age isn't important. Most of us even lose track of how old we are as time passes, though information is in the Hall of Open Records... What's important is the preparation for adult life, and the training you'll receive in your Assignment." Chapter 2, pg. 17

Lily interrupts Jonas's conversation with his parents. She is impatient for her comfort object which is something children sleep with. They are given to every newchild, but taken away when the child becomes an Eight. All comfort objects are "soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures." Lily's comfort object is a creature called an elephant, and Jonas's had been called a bear.

Topic Tracking: Rules 8

Father leads Lily into her sleeping room with her comfort object. Mother begins working at her desk, and Jonas turns to his homework. Although he feels better after talking to his parents, Jonas is still unsure about what his future and his Assignment will be.

Chapter 3

When the baby boy arrives at the family unit, Lily first notices his unusual eye color that are similar to Jonas's eyes which are also pale. In the community, dark eyes are the most common, but there are exceptions like those of Jonas and of a female Five. Jonas does not like the fact that Lily has mentioned his eyes. "No one [mentions] such things; it [is] not a rule, but [is] considered rude to call attention to things that [are] unsettling or different about individuals." Chapter 3. Pg. 20

Topic Tracking: Rules 9

As he looks into the newchild's eyes, however, Jonas feels like he is looking at a mirror which is rare in the. There is quality of "depth" in the child's pale eyes.

Excited about the new young visitor, Lily exclaims that she would like to be a Birthmother. Mother tells her sharply that there is "very little honor" in being a Birthmother. A Birthmother gives three births for three years after which she becomes a mere Laborer. Father suggests to Lily that she should think about being a Nurturer like himself instead of being a Birthmother.

Jonas thinks to himself that Lily is never quiet. She is like the speakers in the community. He remembers the time when there was an announcement made specifically at him. Although his name had not been mentioned, the message had clearly been intended for him. During recreation, Jonas and Asher had been playing catch with an apple which was not an unusual recreational activity in the community. But, Jonas noticed that the apple had changed suddenly, not in size or shape, but in a different way. It changed a total of four times. Confused, Jonas had taken the apple home despite the rules that forbade doing so. Soon, an announcement was made through the speakers, reminding male Elevens that objects were not to be taken from the Recreation area. Although the announcement had been made to all male Elevens, Jonas knew that it had been directed at him.

Topic Tracking: Rules 10

Chapter 4

On his way to do volunteering, Jonas thinks that he has always liked being able to choose how to spend his volunteer hours because the rest of his hours are always so "carefully regulated."

Topic Tracking: Choice 1

Jonas thinks about another male Eleven named Benjamin. According to rumors, Benjamin has been volunteering at the Rehabilitation Center for four years. Over the years, he has accumulated enough skills that he will surely receive his Assignment there when the time comes. Jonas has never talked to Benjamin about his accomplishments, however, because it would be breaking the rules against bragging. It is hard to talk about one's successes without breaking this small rule.

Topic Tracking: Rules 11

Jonas rides the bicycle to the House of the Old where he sees Asher and Fiona's bicycles parked outside. A female Eleven, Fiona is Jonas's friend. Entering the building, Jonas is greeted by an attendant, and Jonas signs in his volunteering hours which will be recorded at the Hall of Open Records. Long time ago, an Eleven was said to not have completed his required volunteer hours. He had not been able to receive his Assignment during the Ceremony in December, and it had been "a disgrace."

Topic Tracking: Rules 12

The attendant suggests that Jonas join Asher and Fiona in the bathing room. On his way to the bathing room, Jonas looks around the house which is "a serene and slow-paced place" whose residents lead quiet, peaceful lives. As he enters the bathing room, Jonas sees his friends. He approaches an old woman who is one of the many waiting to be helped with bathing. He greets the woman whose nametag reads "Larissa". After filling the tub with water, Jonas helps the woman get in and washes her with soap. People in the community are prohibited from looking at each other's nakedness, but the newchildren and the Old are exempt from the rule.

Topic Tracking: Rules 13

"He [likes] the feeling of safety here in this warm and quiet room; he [likes] the expression of trust on the woman's face as she [lies] in the water unprotected, exposed, and free." Chapter 4, pg. 30

During her bath, Larissa tells Jonas about the release of Roberto that was celebrated earlier that day. Roberto's whole life as an Instructor of Elevens, a member of the Planning Committee, and a father of two children had been told before he was released. Larissa continues by explaining that there are occasionally boring life tellings like that of Edna who was released recently. A Birthmother and a Laborer, Edna had not even had a family unit of her own. When Jonas asks her to tell him more about the celebration, Larissa says that after the telling of one's life, there is a toast followed by a chanting of the anthem and speeches. No one knows exactly where one goes after the release, but Larissa tells Jonas that Roberto had looked happy.

Chapter 5

During the morning ritual of telling dreams, Lily talks about a scary dream she had in which she had been caught riding Mother's bicycle. Mother then talks about a dream in which she had been scolded for something she could not understand. After each dream telling, the family thanks the person for sharing and discusses the importance of the dream. Jonas usually does not dream often, so he does not have much to tell, but this morning is different. After Father says that he has not had any dreams, it is Jonas's turn. Jonas slowly begins to share the strange dream he has had.

In the dream, he is naked in the bathing room at the House of the Old with Fiona. He wants to take off Fiona's clothes so he can bathe her in the tub, but she laughingly refuses. He says that the strongest feeling in his dream had been "the wanting." Jonas is strangely embarrassed as he shares his dream with his family, but must abide by the rule of telling all of a dream. After he finishes, Father deliberately leaves with Lily, and Mother is left alone to talk to him. Mother tells Jonas that the wanting he felt in the dream was his first Stirring. As something that happens to everyone, it begins with a dream, and Mother and Father had been expecting it to happen to Jonas. Handing Jonas a small pill, Mother tells him that Stirrings are treated by taking the pill every morning. Both his parents take it, and Jonas knows that some of his friends including Asher have already started. He never mentions it to Asher because it is impolite to bring attention to what is different about someone. Mother tells him that he must take the pill every morning because the Stirrings can return if he forgets. He is to take them everyday of his adulthood.

Topic Tracking: Rules 14

On his way to school, Jonas thinks that he had actually liked the dream. It had been "pleasurable." When he had awaken, he had wanted to feel what he had felt in the dream again. Trying to remember the feeling in the dream, however, Jonas finds that the Stirrings have disappeared.

Topic Tracking: Memory 1
Topic Tracking: Feelings 5

Chapter 6

Mother is fixing Lily's hair for the Ceremony in December. She is impatient and irritated, but Jonas reminds her that with the ceremony each year, good things happen. This year, she will start her volunteering, and the year before, she had gotten her front-buttoned jacket as a Seven. All Fours, Fives, and Sixes are required to wear jackets that are buttoned in the back so that they can learn to depend on one another. As Sevens, the children wear jackets that are buttoned in the front. As Nines, they start riding bicycles, signaling their independence.

Topic Tracking: Rules 15

Soon, Mother, Jonas, and Lily are on their way to the Auditorium. The days of the Ceremony provide a two-day holiday for the community so everyone can attend. As a Nurturer who participates in the Naming for the newchildren, Father will join the family later. Unfortunately, Gabriel is not among the newchildren to be named. Normally, a newchild like Gabriel who has not been gaining weight normally and not been able to sleep well is released from the community. But Father had gone on behalf of Gabriel to speak to the committee who had agreed to give Gabriel one more year for nurturing at the Center. The newchild will continue to spend his nights with Jonas and his family unit, but the family had signed "a pledge" that stated that they "would not become attached" to the baby and that they would give him up to be assigned to a family at the end of the year.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 6

Inside, Jonas is glad that Gabriel had not been released. When people are released from the community, they are sent Elsewhere, never to be seen again.

The first Ceremony begins, and each newchild is named and assigned to a family unit. The audience applauds for each naming, but becomes more enthusiastic when a male child is named Caleb. The child is a replacement for an earlier male child of a couple who had fallen into the river. Losses like this are very rare in the community where children are carefully protected, but when Caleb had been lost, a Ceremony of Loss had been performed. Everyone in the community had murmured Caleb's name during the day, getting less frequent and softer as the day went on so the child would slowly disappear from the minds of the citizens. Now, with this replacement child, a Murmur-of-Replacement Ceremony is performed. Everyone repeats his name, becoming louder and faster as though willing the first Caleb to return. Such rituals are performed only for the newchildren who are replacements of losses.

After the ceremonies of Two, Three, and Four, there is a break followed by the ceremonies of Fives, Sixes, Sevens, and Eights. The rest is to continue tomorrow. As a new Eight, Lily goes up to the stage to receive her Eight jacket. The jacket has pockets, showing her to be old enough to take care of her personal belongings. She will also start her volunteer hours.

The next day begins with the Ceremony of Nine during which the Nines receive their bicycles. A Nine named Fritz bumps into the podium after he has received his bike. Fritz is always very clumsy and awkward that he is constantly being chastised. During the Ceremony of Ten, each girl's braids are cut off, and each boy receives a short haircut. Elevens are simply given new clothes. Girls are given different undergarments for their changing bodies, and the boys are given longer pants with pockets for calculators to be used in school.

Topic Tracking: Rules 16

Before the Ceremony of Twelve, there is a break. Jonas and his groupmates are nervous about their assignments. Asher tells Jonas about an Eleven who swam away to another community after being given an Assignment as Sanitation Laborer. Jonas dismisses Asher's story as being false, but Asher reminds Jonas that it is possible to join another community. The rules say that one can apply to be released and go Elsewhere if one does not fit in, but Jonas thinks to himself: "How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made." Chapter 6, pg. 48

Even for matching of spouses, there is a long period of consideration before they are actually matched so that one's application for a spouse is approved. Factors such as "disposition, energy level, intelligence, and interests" are all taken into consideration, so the husband and wife will complement each other well.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 7

For Placement of Newchildren, the Committee of Elders observes the matched spouses for three years before granting them permission to apply for children. Thus, Jonas feels confident that his Assignment will also be the right one for him; the Committee of Elders will have chosen it after long and careful thought.

Topic Tracking: Choice 2
Topic Tracking: Rules 17

Chapter 7

The Elevens sit in front of the stage in the order of the original numbers that were given to them at birth. The numbers are a rarely used form of identification. Jonas is Nineteen which means that he is the nineteenth child born his year, born after Fiona who is Eighteen and before Pierre who is Twenty.

The Chief Elder who is the leader of the community elected every ten years makes a speech about the times of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood. She mentions the Committee of Elders who has worked hard on the Assignments, and one by one, Elevens are called up to the stage. For each new Twelve, a speech is made about his or her childhood and new Assignment he or she will receive. Number One, a girl named Madeline, is assigned as Fish Hatchery Attendant after whom Inger, Number Two, is announced as a Birthmother. Jonas thinks that the Assignment fits Inger who is strong, but lazy. After Issac, Three, is assigned as an Instructor of Sixes, Asher is called. The Chief Elder begins her speech about Asher. She talks about Asher's days as a Three. One day, Asher, impatient for his juice and crackers, blurted out "smack" although he had meant "snack." Because precise use of language was important, Asher was given a smack with the rod used to discipline children which was what he had asked for.

Topic Tracking: Rules 18

For weeks, however, Asher continued to make the same mistake and was continually disciplined with the wand. After awhile, Asher stopped talking. Coming to the end of her story, the Chief Elder turns to Asher, praising him for his humor and cheerfulness. Giving him his Assignment as Assistant Director of Recreation, she thanks him for his childhood.

The Ceremony continues, and Jonas becomes increasingly nervous as his turn approaches. When Fiona is called, she receives the Assignment of Caretaker of the Old which Jonas thinks is perfect for his sensitive friend. Jonas readies himself to be called next, but the Chief Elder instead calls Pierre who is Twenty and skips Jonas. Jonas and the rest of the community are astonished, but the Ceremony continues with the rest of the Elevens. "[Jonas] [hunches] his shoulders and [tries] to make himself smaller in the seat. He [wants] to disappear, to fade away, not to exist. He [doesn't] dare to turn and find his parents in the crowd. He [can't] bear to see their faces darkened with shame. Jonas [bows] his head and [searches] through his mind. What had he done wrong?" Chapter 7, pg. 58

Chapter 8

Everyone in the Auditorium is uncomfortable and confused. Jonas is humiliated and terrified. After the final Assignment, the Chief Elder speaks again, first apologizing to the community for the anxiety she has caused them to feel. But she tells them that she has not made a mistake.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 8

Calling Jonas up to the stage, she tells everyone that Jonas has not been assigned, but "selected" to become the next Receiver of Memory.

There are gasps of surprise at this announcement, and the Chief Elder explains that this kind of selection is rare. In the community, there is only one Receiver who has been in the position for a long time. Just then, Jonas sees a man with a beard and pale eyes seated with the Committee of Elders who seems "oddly separate from [the other Elders]." Continuing her speech, the Chief Elder explains that ten years ago, there had been a failed selection of a Receiver. She says that she will not dwell on because it causes everyone discomfort at which Jonas can feel the unease that the audience seems to feel.

Topic Tracking: Rules 19

She says that as the most honored in the community, the Receiver-in-training will stand apart from others in his group. Jonas thinks uneasily to himself: "Alone? Apart?" The Chief Elder explains that the Committee identified Jonas as someone with the potential to become a Receiver many years ago. There are several characteristics that a Receiver must exhibit. Jonas has the intelligence, the integrity, and the courage. Wisdom, another necessary attribute, will be acquired through his training. She tells him: "You will be faced, now, with pain of a magnitude that none of us here can comprehend because it is beyond our experience. The Receiver himself was not able to describe it, only to remind us that you would be faced with it, that you would need immense courage." Chapter 8, pg. 63 The Chief Elder adds that there is one more quality needed in a Receiver which she does not understand. It is what the current Receiver has called the Capacity to See Beyond, something Jonas possesses.

Jonas who is listening thinks that he does not have this capacity. Doubtful and confused, he feels that he has been wrongly chosen. "But when he [looks] out across the crowd, the sea of faces, the thing happened again. The thing that had happened with the apple. They changed. He [blinks], and it [is] gone. His shoulder [straightens] slightly. Briefly he [feels] a tiny sliver of sureness for the first time." Chapter 8, pg. 64 With everyone's eyes upon him, Jonas speaks up. He tells everyone that although he does not yet understand it, sometimes, he sees something, and that may be "beyond." After Jonas's comment, the Chief Elder thanks him for his childhood as she has done for every Eleven and leaves the stage. With Jonas up on the stage alone, the crowd begins to chant his name, becoming louder and faster as it did earlier with the newchild Caleb. Although Jonas is grateful for this kind of support from the community, he is also fearful and unsure.

Chapter 9

For the first time in his life, Jonas feels different from the rest of the Elevens. After the Ceremony, he looks for his friends and family among the throng of people who eye him and whisper about him among themselves. Having spotted Asher, Jonas invites him to ride back home together. Although Asher agrees, Jonas feels that for a moment, Asher is uncertain. "There [is] just a moment when things [aren't] quite the same, [aren't] quite as they [have] always been through the long friendship." Chapter 9. Pg. 66

During the evening meal, Lily talks on as usual. Mother and Father tell Jonas that they are proud of his honorable Assignment as the Receiver. Father adds that the job is the most important and honored in the community. When Jonas asks them about the failed selection of the Receiver ten years ago, both parents fall silent, unable to give a complete answer. The Eleven who had been chosen as the Receiver ten years ago had been a female, but her name was never to be mentioned or used for a newchild. Her name had been designated Not-to-be-Spoken, the worst disgrace in the community. Neither of his parents knew what had happened to her.

At night, Jonas opens the folder he received at the Ceremony. Every Eleven had received a folder with pages of rules and instructions along with his or her Assignment. Jonas's folder is thin compared to those of others he has seen, and in it is only one sheet of rules.

There is a total of eight rules on the sheet. Everyday, Jonas is to report himself to the attendant at the Annex behind the House of the Old. After each day of training, he is to go immediately to his family dwelling. He is also exempt from rules regarding rudeness; he can ask anything of anyone. He is not to talk about his training with anyone, however, not even with his parents and other Elders. He is prohibited from talking about his dreams or applying for any medication related to training or applying for release. Finally, he is allowed to lie.

Having read over the rules, Jonas is stunned. He is disappointed that there will no longer be time for recreation in his schedule, and he is surprised to see that he will be exempt from the rules regarding rudeness. He thinks that he will never be rude to someone in the community. "He [is] so completely, so thoroughly accustomed to courtesy within the community that the thought of asking another citizen an intimate question, calling someone's attention to an area of awkwardness, [is] unnerving." Chapter 9, pg. 69 Because he dreams very rarely, Jonas thinks that no longer being able to tell his dreams will not be a problem. Thinking about the rule that no longer allows him to receive any medication, Jonas is reminded of what the Chief Elder said about his Assignment--that it would bring inexplicable pain. As for not being able to apply for release, Jonas is certain that he will never apply for one, but he is bothered by the rule that allows him to lie. From childhood, he has been taught to use language precisely and to never lie. Once as a Four, Jonas had indicated his hunger by saying "I'm starving," and he had been mildly scolded for using language incorrectly. He had not been starving; he had only been hungry. No one in the community starved, and he had spoken an "unintentional lie." Jonas is disturbed because he does not lie nor does anyone else around him like Asher, Lily, and his parents. Suddenly, however, Jonas has a thought that frightens him. "What if others--adults--had, upon becoming Twelves, received in their instructions the same terrifying sentence? What if they had all been instructed: You may lie?" Chapter 9, pg. 71 Jonas is confused and terrified by this idea.

Topic Tracking: Rules 20

Chapter 10

On the first day of his training, Jonas rides alongside Fiona who will receive her training at the House of the Old. When he enters the Annex which is located behind the House of the Old, an Attendant greets him respectfully. Although doors in the community are never locked, Jonas notices that the door leading to the Receiver's room is. Noticing Jonas's discomfort, the Attendant politely reassures him that it is to give the Receiver privacy.

Topic Tracking: Rules 21

The Receiver's room is a well-furnished room, but some pieces of the furniture are different from those he is used to seeing. The chairs and the sofa as well as the table and the bed are slightly more ornate and luxurious. Along the walls are bookcases filled with books he never knew existed. Seated on a chair by the table is the pale-eyed, bearded Elder he had seen at the Ceremony. He is a tired looking man with wrinkles on his face. He explains that his job has wearied him, making him look older than he really is. Having failed to properly train a Receiver, he needs to devote his remaining energy to training Jonas. As a Twelve, he was selected just as Jonas had been at the Ceremony, and had come to this room to receive training.

He explains: "Simply stated, although it's not really simple at all, my job is to transmit to you all the memories I have within me. Memories of the past." Chapter 10, pg. 77 When Jonas does not fully understand, the man explains again that he will give Jonas memories of not his own childhood, but those of the "whole world" as far back as generations and generations before him from Elsewhere.

As a Receiver-in-training, he had been given all those memories from the Receiver before him. The heavy burden of these memories makes him tired and old. The man tries to explain his state of mind by comparing it to going downhill on a snow sled, but Jonas does not know what sled and snow are.

Topic Tracking: Memory 2

Saying that it is "a place to start," the man instructs Jonas to remove his tunic and lie face down on the bed. He then goes to the speakers and turns them off. Jonas is astonished that the speakers can be turned off. The man returns to the bed where Jonas is and sits on a chair by the bed. Telling Jonas to close his eyes and relax, he explains that he will give Jonas the memory of snow and places his hands on Jonas's back.

Chapter 11

At first, Jonas does not feel anything, but after awhile, he feels that the hands on his back are cold. He discovers that the air has also turned cold, and his whole body can feel the chill. Then, "he [becomes] aware of an entirely new sensation: pinpricks? No, because they [are] soft and without pain. Tiny, cold, featherlike feelings [pepper] his body and face. He [puts] out his tongue again, and [catches] one of the dots of cold upon it. It [disappears] from his awareness instantly; but he [catches] another, and another. The sensation [makes] him smile." Chapter 11, pg. 80 Although he is aware of the fact that he is on the bed in the room with the man, another part of him feels that he is sitting on something hard and flat. Even with his eyes closed, Jonas can see something floating in the air around him. Somehow, he knows that it is "snow" just as he knows that he is sitting on a "sled" which is on top of what is a "hill." When the sled moves through the snow, he knows that he is going downhill. "He [is] free to enjoy the breathless glee that [overwhelms] him: the speed, the clear cold air, the total silence, the feeling of balance and excitement and peace." Chapter 11, pg. 82 He comes to a stop when too much snow piles up in front of the sled, hindering further movement. When he opens his eyes, he sees that he is on the bed with the old man watching him.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 9

The old man confesses that transmitting even that small memory to Jonas has slightly lifted some burden off him. Although he does not have that specific memory of the sled, the snow, and the hill anymore after having given it to Jonas, he still has many others to give. The old man tells Jonas that the memory of the snow and the sled is a distant one that goes many years back. There is no longer snow because of Climate Control. With snow, growing food became difficult, and transportation was hindered. Thus snow was considered impractical; with Sameness, it was taken away. The same was with hills that slowed down vehicles. Jonas expresses the desire to have things like snow and hill every now and then, and the old man agrees, but he reminds Jonas that the choice is not theirs. Although he has honor, it is not the same thing as power.

Topic Tracking: Choice 3
Topic Tracking: Memory 3

After their talk, the man gives another memory to Jonas. Feeling the man's hands become warm, Jonas notices that this time, the air, instead of being cold, is hot. Outdoors somewhere, he is comfortable and relaxed. Somehow, he knows that it is "sunshine" from the sky that he feels--sunshine before Sameness and Climate Control. When Jonas tells the man that he has enjoyed the memories, the man sighs and explains that he has deliberately started with good memories. Gradually, however, it will become painful. To prove his point, the man decides to give Jonas one more piece of memory. With the man's hands on his back, Jonas feels the same warmth he had felt earlier. As he lies there, he can feel time passing, and as time passes, he can feel a sharp pain. After being given the memory, Jonas learns from the man that the pain he felt was "sunburn." When Jonas tells him that he can better understand what pain is, the old man does not respond. Upon parting, the man looks "drained and a little sad." When Jonas asks him what he should call him, the man tells him to call him "The Giver".

Chapter 12

When his mother asks in the morning, Jonas lies and tells her that he has had no dreams although he has had many dreams about riding the sled down the snowy hill. "Always in the dream, it [seems] as if there [is] a destination: a something--he [cannot] grasp what--that [lies] beyond the place where the thickness of snow [brings] the sled to a stop. He is left, upon awakening, with the feeling that he [wants], even somehow [needs], to reach the something that [waits] in the distance. The feeling that it [is] good. That it [is] welcoming. That it [is] significant. But he [does] not know how to get there." Chapter 12, pg. 88

Topic Tracking: Feelings 10
Topic Tracking: Memory 4

At school, the classes are the same, but his groupmates are busy discussing their first day of training during break. Jonas can only listen because he is not able to discuss anything with anyone. After school, he rides again with Fiona to the House of the Old. Talking about her training at the House of the Old, Fiona seems to expect Jonas to share his training and Assignment with her, but when he does not say anything, she says good bye.

Watching Fiona walk toward the entrance of the House of the Old, Jonas is startled to see her change. More specifically, it is just her hair that changes for a short moment just like the apple and the audience in the Auditorium during the Ceremony had.

Jonas decides to ask The Giver about the changes he has been seeing. After listening to Jonas, The Giver tells him that he will give him a little test. Lying on the bed with his eyes closed, Jonas waits for The Giver's hands on his back. But instead of transmitting a memory to Jonas, The Giver instructs him to recall the memory of the sled and the snow and to look down at the sled. The memory is no longer The Giver's to give; it is Jonas's to call back. Concentrating, Jonas does as he is told, and looks down at the sled which looks just as the apple and Fiona's hair had. But this time, the sled does not change, simply staying the same. The Giver then instructs Jonas to look at a book on the shelf. Jonas notices that the same thing happens to the book in that it changes back and forth.

Finally, The Giver explains that Jonas is beginning to see colors and especially the color red. Fiona's hair is red as well as the apple and the book on the shelf. The Giver explains that long time ago, there were colors, and one of them was called red. In the past, before Sameness, there were colors as well as different color-peopled. Sameness has not been perfected yet since there are people like Fiona with bright red hair. The Giver tells Jonas that he will begin to see all the colors as he receives memories. He explains: "Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others." Chapter 12, pg. 95

Topic Tracking: Choice 4

Jonas thinks that it would be better to have colors, and The Giver tells him that unlike Jonas, he had taken a long time to begin thinking that way. In order to help Jonas better understand colors, The Giver gives him a memory of a rainbow.

Chapter 13

As time passes, Jonas learns the names of colors through the memories, and he begins to see things differently around him. But the colors don't last when he looks at objects, and The Giver explains that it will take a long time before he can keep the colors. Jonas becomes angry because he thinks that it is unfair to have everything be the same so that people are unable to make free choices. The Giver listens to Jonas, but also suggests that it may not be safe to let people make decisions on their own.

Topic Tracking: Choice 5

Listening, Jonas agrees and finally concludes that it may not be safe to let people make choices in case they make wrong ones regarding their spouses or their jobs. But Jonas still feels frustrated.

Nowadays, Jonas often feels irritated and angry with his groupmates who do not know the things that he does. He is frustrated "that they [are] satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own [is] taking on. And he [is] angry at himself, that he [cannot] change that for them." Chapter 13, pg. 99 Once, he tries to transmit to Asher a memory of the color red, but Asher cannot understand, becoming uncomfortable with Jonas's touching him. In the community, it is generally thought rude to touch someone else who is not within one's family unit.

Topic Tracking: Rules 22

One day, The Giver gives Jonas a disturbing memory of a hot place with sounds of men shouting and guns shooting. There are men with different flesh colors--dark and light men. Jonas watches as they cut the tusks from the elephant and carries them away. The color of the blood on the ground is a kind of red that Jonas has never known. After the men speed away in a vehicle, "he [sees] another elephant emerge from the place where it had stood hidden in the trees. Very slowly it [walks] to the mutilated body and [looks] down. With its sinuous trunk it [strikes] the huge corpse; then it [reaches] up, [breaks] some leafy branches with a snap, and [drapes] them over the mass of torn thick flesh. Finally it [tilts] its massive head, [raises] its trunk, and [roars] into the empty landscape...It [is] a sound of rage and grief and it [seems] never to end." Chapter 13, pg. 100

Topic Tracking: Feelings 11
Topic Tracking: Memory 5

In the evening, Jonas tries to convince Lily that elephants are creatures that have really once existed. By putting his hands on their shoulders, Jonas tries to give Lily and his father the memory of the elephant to no success.

Jonas once asks The Giver about his spouse. The Giver tells Jonas that he once had a spouse who now lives with the Childless Adults whose children have grown and made family units of their own. The Giver explains that Jonas will also be able to apply for a spouse, but warns him that it will be difficult. The Giver confesses that it was difficult for him to hide various parts of his life from his family as it will be for Jonas.

Occasionally, The Giver advises the Committee of Elders on issues, but this is rare because the Committee does not make many changes. He says: "Sometimes I wish they'd ask for my wisdom more often--there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable--so painless. It's what they've chosen." Chapter 13, pg. 103

Topic Tracking: Choice 6

Having a Receiver, however, is still very important, and the Committee knows this. Ten years ago, when the new Receiver failed in her Assignment, the memories she had been given were let loose, and people were able to access them. It was just as it had once been when memories were accessible to everyone, but people in the community could not handle the painful memories. It was chaotic and painful, and the Committee realized the importance of having a Receiver who would keep all the memories as well as the pain and the knowledge to himself. The life of a Receiver is a difficult and painful one, but The Giver tells Jonas that it has been his life and it will be Jonas's life. The Giver explains that his life is in himself where his memories are.

Topic Tracking: Memory 6

Jonas tells The Giver what he has been taught by his Instructors in science and technology about how the brain works by being stimulated by electrical impulses "like a computer." The Giver immediately dismisses it and the Instructors, explaining that without memories, everything is "meaningless."

Topic Tracking: Memory 7

Some days, Jonas is sent back home without being trained. These are days when Jonas comes to the room to find The Giver bent over in pain, telling Jonas to come back the next day. These are days when Jonas goes off to test his memory by trying to keep colors as long as he can or bringing back memories he has been given. Standing at the foot of the bridge that leads to other communities, Jonas wonders what lies beyond his own community and other communities--Elsewhere. "He [wonders] what lay in the far distance where he [has] never gone. The land [doesn't] end beyond those nearby community. [Are] there hills Elsewhere? [Are] there vast wind-torn areas like the place he had seen in memory, the place where the elephants died?" Chapter 13, pg. 106

The day after he had been sent away, Jonas asks The Giver what causes him pain. The Chief Elder had told him that his Assignment would be a painful one, but Jonas has not yet suffered. The Giver agrees. Having decided that he cannot shield Jonas forever, The Giver decides to give him a memory that starts with a hill and a sled--things that are familiar.

Chapter 14

The memory is very similar to the first one, but the hill is steeper and the weather is colder. It is not snowing as much because the ground is hard, not as soft. Jonas is excited as the sled moves down, but gradually, he becomes frightened, realizing that he cannot steer and that the sled is gaining speed uncontrollably. "The sled [hits] a bump in the hill and Jonas is jarred loose and thrown violently into the air. He [falls] with his leg twisted under him, and [can] hear the crack of bone. His face [scrapes] along jagged edges of ice...Then, the first wave of pain. He [gasps]. It [is] as if a hatchet [lies] lodged in his leg, slicing through each nerve with a hot blade. In his agony, he [perceives] the word 'fire' and [feels] flames licking at the torn bone and flesh." Chapter 14, pg. 109 Unable to move, he screams and cries, vomiting and bleeding. Suddenly, he finds himself on the bed in the Annex room. He still feels aching pain, but when he asks for relief-of-pain, The Giver denies his request. Realizing that he cannot take any medication and that he cannot discuss his training with his family at home, Jonas is lonely. He thinks to himself that his parents and Lily "have never known pain."

Topic Tracking: Feelings 12
Topic Tracking: Memory 8

Training continues, and The Giver gives Jonas pain, bit by bit, everyday. But he also deliberately ends the days with good memories like those of a sail on a lake or of wildflowers or of sunsets. After having been given a memory of neglect and starvation, Jonas asks The Giver why he has to keep these memories. The Giver explains that those memories give wisdom, and he needs wisdom in order to advise the Committee on issues. Some years ago, when there was a petition to increase births in the community, The Giver had advised against it. He had remembered that a huge population had caused hunger and starvation which, in turn, had resulted in warfare. When the unknown plane flew over the community, the Committee had wanted to shoot it down, but The Giver had told the Elders to wait, remembering the times when people had killed one another in fear. Thus, The Giver must give Jonas various memories of destruction and pain in order to instill in him wisdom. Jonas points out that it would be easier if everyone could have memories so that everyone could bear the burden, but The Giver says that it was something that was decided a long time ago. It cannot be changed.

Topic Tracking: Memory 9
Topic Tracking: Choice 7

Gabriel is growing well, passing monthly tests of maturity and being able to do things like other children of his age, but he still cannot sleep soundly at night. Father hopes that Gabriel will not be released after all the care he has put into the newchild, but Mother thinks that it might be better for him to be released because the lack of sleep is hard for her. Father talks about a release the Nurturers are planning to make because there is a Birthmother who is expecting twin males. Father is next on the list to be the one who has to select the newchild that will be nurtured and the one that will be released. Listening to this conversation, Jonas wonders what exactly it is that lies Elsewhere. "Was there someone there, waiting, who would receive the tiny released twin? Would it grow up Elsewhere, not knowing, ever, that in this community lived a being who looked exactly the same? For a moment, he felt a tiny, fluttering hope that he knew was quite foolish. He hoped that it would be Larissa, waiting. Larissa, the old woman he had bathed." Chapter 14, pg. 115 Thinking about Larissa, Jonas remembers Fiona telling him that Larissa had recently been released.

For the night, Jonas offers to take care of Gabriel. Gabriel sleeps well for awhile, but in the middle of the night, he wakes, unable to sleep soundly. Patting Gabriel, Jonas "[begins] to remember the wonderful sail that The Giver [gave] him not long before: a bright, breezy day on a clear turquoise lake, and above him the white sail of the boat billowing as he moved along in the brisk wind." Chapter 14, pg. 116 Jonas unintentionally transmits parts of the peaceful memory to Gabriel, not knowing that he is doing it. Gabriel becomes quiet. Startled, Jonas tries to pull back what he has given, but he lets go after finding that the memory is not as clear as it was before. When Gabriel cries again in the night, Jonas gives Gabriel the rest of the memory. He has "no more than a wisp of the memory," and nervously wonders if he should tell The Giver what he has done. He knows that he is not yet ready to become a Giver and Gabriel has not been selected to be a Receiver. He is frightened to see that he has this kind of power.

Topic Tracking: Memory 10

Chapter 15

When Jonas enters The Giver's room, he knows that it is a day when he will be sent away without his training. The Giver is in his chair, apparently in pain and suffering. He pleads to Jonas to take away the pain. Jonas removes his tunic and lies on the bed, ready to be given the memory that tortures The Giver.

He finds himself in place of confusion, chaos, and smoke. He sees men and horses lying around suffering. There is a whisper for "water," and Jonas turns to see "the half-closed eyes of a boy who [seems] not much older than himself. Dirt [streaks] the boy's face and his matted blond hair. He [lies] sprawled, his gray uniform glistening with wet, fresh blood. The colors of the carnage [are] grotesquely bright: the crimson wetness on the rough and dusty fabric, the ripped shred of grass, startlingly green, in the boy's yellow hair." Chapter 15, pg. 119 Jonas finds that he is unable to move one of his arms; it has been torn. With the other arm, he feeds the boy water from a container after which the boy falls silent. But the confusion of the noise and the screams continues. Men who are injured call out for help, and horses lie on the ground. There are sounds of cannons. Lying there in pain, Jonas learns about "warfare." Opening his eyes, he sees The Giver look away, asking for his forgiveness for giving him such pain.

Topic Tracking: Memory 11

Chapter 16

Although Jonas does not want to return to the Annex, the choice is not his to make.

Topic Tracking: Choice 8

After the memory of warfare, however, The Giver tries to give Jonas less painful memories, telling him that there are many good ones. There are memories of a birthday party, museums, and paintings. Jonas is also given memories of riding a horse, walking through the woods, and sitting by a campfire. He learns about bonds between humans and animals as well as the "joy of solitude."

Topic Tracking: Memory 12

When Jonas asks about The Giver's own favorite memory, he gives Jonas a memory of a warm room full of people. It is snowing outside, but there are food, laughter, and wrapped packages on the floor inside. There are children, their parents, and an older couple. It is a memory of them unwrapping the packages on the floor and excitedly talking to one another. When Jonas opens his eyes, The Giver tells him that the old people are called "Grandparents" who are the parents of the parents. Jonas has never before thought about having parents-of-the-parents. Although he can look up and see who they are at the Hall of Open Records, he does not know them because in the community, the old does not live with the rest of the citizens. He admits that the way things are done in the community "[works] pretty well," but also realizes that there are other ways now that he has received that memory.

Topic Tracking: Memory 13

Jonas tells The Giver that he felt something strong in the room, and The Giver tells him that it was "love." After thinking for a few minutes, Jonas tells The Giver that it must be impractical, but nice to live with grandparents. He wishes that the community were that way, and that The Giver could be his grandparent. Although he realizes that it would be " dangerous way to live," he confesses that he liked the "light and the warmth.

Topic Tracking: Memory 14

During the evening meal at his family dwelling, Jonas hesitatingly asks his parents if they love him. Father only laughs and instructs Jonas to use language more precisely. Mother explains that "love" is a word with no precise meaning that is no longer used. They tell him that they "enjoy" Jonas and "take proud in [his] accomplishments," but it is not proper to use the word "love" to describe their feelings toward him. Although he is puzzled, Jonas lies to his parents for the first time, telling them that he understands.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 13
Topic Tracking: Rules 23

That night, Gabriel is back in Jonas's room. Although he sleeps well in Jonas's room, Gabriel continues to fret at the Nurturing Center at nights. Thus, it is decided that he will spend more time in Jonas's room where he sleeps better until he forms the habit. At night, in his room, Jonas whispers to Gabriel: "Things could change, Gabe. Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents. And everybody would have memories. You know about memories." Chapter 16, pg. 128 Every night, Jonas has been giving Gabriel memories. Looking at the sleeping baby, Jonas whispers that there could also be love.

The next morning, Jonas decides not to take his daily pill that make his Stirrings disappear. A voice inside him that has sprung as a result of the memories tells him to discard the pills.

Topic Tracking: Choice 9
Topic Tracking: Memory 15
Topic Tracking: Feelings 14

Chapter 17

An announcement is made through the speakers, declaring an unscheduled holiday when adults and children can get rest from work and school. Riding his bicycle to go look for Asher, Jonas thinks to himself that he has not been taking the pills for four weeks, and he feels guilty about the returning Stirrings. He also knows, however, that he cannot return to living without feelings.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 15

Nowadays, Jonas experiences "new, heightened feelings" as a result of the memories that he receives from The Giver. He can also keep the colors that he sees around him, and through the memories, he knows about oceans, lakes, and stream that come from and flow to Elsewhere. On this holiday, Jonas feels happy, and he knows that it is a "new depth of feelings" that he is experiencing. Lily once talked about being angry with someone, and Mother had explained feelings of sadness, but Jonas now realizes that they were not real anger or sadness that Lily and Mother had felt. Lily's anger was not the kind of rage he had once known, and Mother's sadness had not even been close to the kind of grief he had felt. Theirs had only been shallow feelings.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 16
Topic Tracking: Memory 16

Jonas reaches the playing field, and his groupmates are playing a game which he can now recognize as being a game of war. Shouting at each other, they pretend to attack one another, shooting with imaginary weapons and dropping to the ground. Jonas walks into the field and stands in the center, going over in his mind the image of the boy who had begged for water on the battlefield. On the verge of tears, Jonas stands there alone with everyone else watching him uncomfortably. Finally, the children ride away on their bicycles until only Asher and Fiona remain. Asher is annoyed that Jonas has ruined their game. Jonas tries to explain to him that the game is actually cruel, but he does not listen. When Fiona invites Jonas to go ride along the river, he refuses. He understands that he can never return to his childhood when he had played with his friends. "His childhood, his friendships, his carefree sense of security--all of these things [seem] to be slipping away. With his new, heightened feelings, he [is] overwhelmed by sadness at the way the others had laughed and shouted, playing at war. But he [knows] that they [cannot] understand why, without the memories. He [feels] such love for Asher and for Fiona. But they [cannot] feel it back, without the memories. And he [cannot] give them those." Chapter 17, pg. 135

Topic Tracking: Feelings 17
Topic Tracking: Memory 17

In the evening, the family gathers around to talk. It is almost December again, and Lily will become a Nine soon. Father tells them that tomorrow, he has to examine the twins that are being born and make a selection. The smaller twin will receive a Ceremony of Release to be released to Elsewhere. Father does not take the baby Elsewhere; he only has to make the choice between the two newchildren. Lily talks endlessly about the twins and Elsewhere until it is bedtime.

Chapter 18

The next day, Jonas asks The Giver about release. The Giver tells him that sometimes his pain makes him want to apply for a release, but he is not allowed to do it until Jonas is trained. Jonas is not ever permitted to request for a release because of the failure of the Receiver ten years ago. Upon Jonas's pleading, The Giver relents and tells him the story about the failed Receiver.

The new Receiver had been a female named Rosemary who had been selected and assigned just as Jonas had been during the Ceremony. She had been "a remarkable young woman," "self-possessed and serene...intelligent, eager to learn." The Giver had loved Rosemary just as he loves Jonas.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 18

When the training began, she did well. In the beginning, she was given good, happy memories, but everything changed for her after she was given a painful memory of a child being taken away from its parents. After that, she was given further memories of poverty, hunger, and terror.

One day, however, after a hard training session, she did not return to her family dwelling. Instead, she went to the Chief Elder to apply for release. Back then, there had not been a rule about not being permitted to apply for release. When she applied, she had been released. But when she was released, the memories she had been given came back to the people. Most of them were happy memories, but there were few painful ones. The community had a hard time coping with them. If Jonas were accidentally lost in the river, all of the memories he has been given will also come back to the people, confusing and tormenting them. "Memories are forever." Chapter 18, pg. 144

Topic Tracking: Memory 18

Chapter 19

When Jonas tells The Giver about the selection his father is making between the two newborn twins, The Giver says that he wishes they wouldn't do such things. Jonas says that he would like to watch, but unfortunately, children are not allowed to watch. The Giver reminds him that he can; the Receiver can ask anything of anyone. In the community, all private ceremonies are taped and placed in the Hall of Closed Records. Talking into the speakers on the wall, The Giver asks to see the release of the twin.

On a video screen, Jonas can see the Nurturing Center and his father appear with an assistant Nurturer. There are two identical twin babies on the bed. After weighing them, Jonas's father hands over one of the babies to the assistant who walks out of the room. Jonas tells The Giver that his father will clean the other baby, but instead, his father inserts a syringe into the newchild's forehead. After all the liquid in the syringe has been injected, the child moves for awhile until it falls limp. For awhile, Jonas thinks that he recognizes the "gestures and posture and expression" of the infant. They look familiar; he has seen them before. Then the memory of the young soldier dying on the battlefield comes back to him, and he realizes with horror that his father has killed the child.

Topic Tracking: Memory 19

After tidying the room, Father puts the small body into a carton and throws it down a chute. The screen goes blank, and The Giver tells Jonas that when Rosemary applied for a release, he was able to see it on the screen. She had chosen to inject herself, but he had not been able to watch.

Topic Tracking: Choice 10

"Jonas [feels] a ripping sensation inside himself, the feeling of terrible pain clawing its way forward to emerge in a cry." Chapter 19, pg. 151

Chapter 20

Weeping and trembling, Jonas shouts vehemently that he refuses to go home. The Giver speaks to the attendant behind the wall speakers, instructing her to tell Jonas's family that he will stay for the night for further training. The Giver calmly explains to Jonas that his father is simply doing what he is told to do, knowing nothing else. "It's the way they live. It's the life that was created for them. It's the same life that you would have, if you had not been chosen as my successor." Chapter 20, pg. 153

Topic Tracking: Choice 11

That's what happens when people are released; they are killed. Fiona is already training to perform releases with no feelings.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 19

The Giver tries to comfort and advise Jonas whose mind is in a turmoil over what he has learned. The Giver explains that after eating dinner, they will together make a plan. There are memories of times when things were different and people had feelings like pride, sorrow, and love. Jonas has helped him realize that memories should be shared. Things should change, and there might be a way.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 20
Topic Tracking: Memory 20

In the community, a Receiver has been responsible for keeping all memories to himself. But if Jonas escapes from the community to go Elsewhere, the memories that have been given to him will come back to the people. That's what happened when Rosemary had been released. All the memories she had received came back to the people, and they panicked. If Jonas goes away and his memories come back, The Giver will help the community cope with the confusion and the pain that the memories bring. In order to control the situation, the Committee will try to quicken the selection process to pick another Receiver. There is a female Six with pale eyes whose name is Katharine, but she is too young to become a Receiver. Thus, the community will be forced to bear with the memories. The Giver has to remain in the community in order to help the people cope with them. He is too old to accompany Jonas. He is no longer able to see colors. But, he explains that there is something that he has been keeping to himself. Jonas had started to see colors; he had had the Capacity to See Beyond. When The Giver had been a child, he had had the Capacity to Hear Beyond. He had started to hear music. The Giver promises to give some to Jonas before he leaves.

Topic Tracking: Memory 21

Jonas goes home the next day, pretending as though nothing has happened. The Giver and he have formed a plan. Until the Ceremony of December, The Giver will give Jonas every memory he has of courage and strength to help him on his journey to Elsewhere which they are both confident exists somewhere.

The plan is that the night before the Ceremony, Jonas will leave his dwelling undetected after writing a note to his parents that he has gone on a morning bicycle ride by the river. After hiding his bicycle by the riverbank, he will come back to the Annex where The Giver will be waiting for him, having ordered a driver and a vehicle. Jonas will hide in the storage section of the vehicle, equipped with two weeks worth of food that The Giver will have secretly saved for him. The Giver and Jonas will ride out together. When Jonas's absence is detected, The Giver will have returned to the community. He will go to the Auditorium where everyone is gathered to announce that Jonas has been lost in the river. He will then help everyone cope with the memories that have returned with Jonas's loss.

Jonas pleads with The Giver to come with him, but the old man is insistent on staying to help the community. He thanks Jonas for helping him realize that there is a way to change things and tells him that he loves him. But after he has helped everyone in the community cope with the memories, he wishes to be with his daughter. Her name had been Rosemary.

Chapter 21

Despite the careful planning, however, Jonas is forced to flee immediately that very night, unable to wait until the day of the Ceremony. Earlier in the evening, Father announced that Gabriel had been voted to be released. When he was taken to the Nurturing Center to sleep, Gabriel cried all night, and a decision had been made to release the child the very next morning.

Taking some leftover food and his father's larger bicycle with a childseat in the back to carry Gabriel, Jonas sets out on his journey. He transmits a calm memory of a hammock swinging back and forth by a beach on an island to Gabriel to soothe the child into falling asleep. He pedals steadily, leaving the community. He is leaving without the memories of courage and strength that The Giver had promised, but he hopes that the ones he has now will suffice. After stopping by a stream to eat with Gabriel, Jonas takes the newchild in his arms to sleep. To help the baby sleep, Jonas transmits another memory--this time, that of exhaustion.

Sleeping by day and pedaling by night, Jonas can no longer count how many days have passed. Despite his aching legs, Jonas continues his journey. At times, planes fly closely over the land. Remembering that these planes are equipped with devices that can detect body warmth, Jonas gives Gabriel memories of snow and saves some for himself so that their bodies will go undetected by the searchers. As Jonas journeys further away from the community, he realizes that his memories are becoming weaker and fainter. He is shedding the memories so they can make their way back to the people. Soon, the search planes become less frequent as Jonas moves ahead into an area uninhabited by people.

Topic Tracking: Memory 22

Chapter 22

Jonas moves ahead into an unfamiliar territory with untended roads. There are also more trees, forests, and streams. For the first time, they see a waterfall and wildlife. They even see a bird flying over them which Jonas vaguely remembers from the memories he received from The Giver. Soon, more birds appear as well as a deer and an animal he cannot identify. Jonas is happy looking around the new landscape, never having encountered these things before in the community with "a life of Sameness and predictability."

But there are new fears as well, one of them being the fear of starvation.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 21

It is difficult finding food in a wild area, and there is no longer any food left. After many failed attempts, Jonas makes a net out of pieces of Gabriel's blanket with which he succeeds in catching two fish in the stream. Suffering from hunger, Jonas tries to call back memories of feasts and party meals in his mind, but when the memories fade away, he is still left with the same feeling of hunger. He remembers the time when he was scolded for incorrectly using the word "starving." Now he knows that he is truly starving. "If he had stayed in the community, he would not be. It [is] as simple as that. Once he [yearned] for choice. Then, when he has had a choice, he [has] made the wrong one: the choice to leave. And now he [is] starving." Chapter 22, pg. 174 But Jonas quickly thinks that even if he had stayed, he would have suffered "a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love." Besides, Gabriel would have had no life at all, so there really hadn't been a choice.

Topic Tracking: Feelings 22
Topic Tracking: Choice 12

The journey on the bicycle becomes more difficult as a result of the lack of food and the rain that comes for two days. Hungry, cold, and weak, Gabriel cries, and Jonas weeps because he fears not being able to save Gabriel.

Chapter 23

Although he cannot see or hear anything, Jonas feels that he is getting closer to his destination--Elsewhere. When it begins to snow, riding becomes impossible. Jonas must abandon the bicycle and continue the journey. For a moment, he thinks that he would like to give up and drop beside the bicycle. All the memories that he received from The Giver have been shed, returning to the people of the community. When Jonas calls back the memory of sunshine, nothing comes at first, but a few moments later, it comes to him. Jonas transmits the memory to Gabriel to warm him. Renewed by this brief moment of warmth, Jonas begins to climb a steep hill. Occasionally, he tries to call back memories of warmth to protect himself and Gabriel from the cold. He regrets that there was not more time for him to receive memories of warmth from The Giver, but Jonas suddenly begins to be happy. Although he is still exhausted and cold, he remembers his family, his friends, and The Giver.

Topic Tracking: Memory 23

When the land becomes level again, Jonas feels certain that they are getting closer to their destination. He whispers to Gabriel that he remembers the place. "It [is] not a grasping of thin and burdensome recollection; this [is] different. This [is] something that he [can] keep. It [is] a memory of his own" Chapter 23, pg. 178

Topic Tracking: Memory 24

On top of the hill, Jonas finds the sled that he knows so well. Grabbing the rope and holding Gabriel tight, Jonas speeds down the hill as though sliding down to the Elsewhere he has constantly thought about--"the Elsewhere that [holds] their future and their past." When he opens his eyes, he can see lights and knows them to be the kind that are on trees where there are families, memories, and love. As the sled slides down faster, Jonas knows for certain that they are waiting for him and Gabriel. "For the first time, he [hears] something that he [knows] to be music. He [hears] people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he [has] left, he [thinks] he [hears] music too. But perhaps, it [is] only an echo." Chapter 23, pg. 180