Chapter 13 Notes from The Giver

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The Giver 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.

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