Chapter 11 Notes from The Giver

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The Giver 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".

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