Chapter 8 Notes from The Giver

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The Giver 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.

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