The Giver Chapter 16
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.