The Giver 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."
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.
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.