Notes on The Giver Themes

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The Giver Topic Tracking: Feelings

Chapter 1

Feelings 1: Jonas feels frightened when he encounters an unfamiliar scene in which an aircraft is flying over the community.

Feelings 2: Trying to precisely describe his feelings, Jonas decides that "frightened" is too strong a word. He decides that he is "apprehensive" about the upcoming December Ceremony.

Feelings 3: Every evening in family dwellings, family members share their feelings for the day. The rest of the family, in turn, helps to resolve them.

Feelings 4: Jonas must take pills every morning to stop the feeling of wanting, Stirrings, from coming back. Although he does as he is told, Jonas thinks that he had actually liked the feelings in his dreams.

Chapter 5

Feelings 5: The Committee decides to give Gabriel one more year to be nurtured at the Nurturing Center. Meanwhile, until next year, Gabriel will continue to spend his nights with Jonas's family. But, on the condition that Gabriel will stay at the family dwelling, Jonas's family must sign "pledges" that they will not become attached to the baby and will readily give him up when the time comes for Gabriel's assignment to another family.

Chapter 6

Feelings 6: When spouses are matched by the Committee of Elders, many factors such as "disposition, energy level, intelligence, and interests" are all considered, but the feelings of the people concerned are not mentioned.

Feelings 7: When the Chief Elder skips Jonas's Assignment, everyone in the audience becomes uncomfortable. Jonas feels an array of emotions that ranges from confusion to terror.

Chapter 8

Feelings 8: Jonas is happy and excited as he slides downhill on the sled. The snow makes him smile, and he enjoys the speedy ride.

Chapter 11

Feelings 9: After having been given his first memory of the sled ride, Jonas repeatedly dreams about going downhill on the sled. When he wakes, he feels like he wants to get to the destination that "lies beyond." He feels that it is a "good, welcoming, significant" place.

Chapter 12

Feelings 10: Jonas is given a memory in which an elephant is brutally killed by men. After the men cut off the tusks of the elephant and speed away, another elephant comes to the corpse, roaring in "grief and rage." Jonas learns about "grief and rage" as he sees the elephant mourning the slaughter of his friend.

Chapter 13

Feelings 11: After being given a memory in which he is thrown into the air by a speeding sled, Jonas experiences true physical pain and agony. Unable to share his experience with the rest of his family, Jonas is lonely.

Chapter 14

Feelings 12: When Jonas asks his parents whether or not they love him, they explain to him that "love" is an outdated form of expression. They are proud of him and they enjoy his company, but they say that it is inappropriate to use the word "love" to describe their feelings for him. "Love" is not a feeling that they know.

Feelings 13: Jonas decides not to take the pills anymore. He wants the Stirrings, the feelings of wanting, to come back.

Chapter 16

Feelings 14: Although he feels guilty about the Stirrings that have returned as a result of his not taking the pills, Jonas thinks to himself that he cannot return to not being able to feel things.

Feelings 15: As a result of the memories he is receiving, Jonas thinks that he is experiencing feelings he has never felt before at a newer "depth." He realizes that the kinds of feelings that Mother, Father, and Lily feel are not genuine; they are only shallow feelings.

Feelings 16: Asher is annoyed that Jonas has ruined their game of war. Although Jonas tries to explain to him that it is actually a cruel game, Asher does not listen. Understanding that he knows things that Asher and Fiona can never know, Jonas "is overwhelmed by sadness." Having been given memories, he knows how to feel love, but he realizes that Asher and Fiona cannot feel it.

Chapter 17

Feelings 17: The Giver explains that he loved Rosemary just as he loves Jonas now. Unlike others, The Giver and Jonas are capable of feeling "love."

Chapter 18

Feelings 18: Jonas finally learns that when people are released, they are actually killed. The Giver explains that Fiona is already training to perform releases. Feelings have no place in her life; she has never learned them.

Chapter 20

Feelings 19: Trying to comfort Jonas who has just learned about releases, The Giver explains that they will make a plan to change the community. There are memories of times when people once felt things like pride, sorrow, and love, and The Giver realizes that the community should change.

Feelings 20: As Jonas continues his journey, he faces new, uninhabited territory as well as new wildlife creatures he has never before seen. He also faces new feelings within himself such as happiness at being in a "new landscape" and fear of starvation.

Chapter 22

Feelings 21: Starving and tired, Jonas thinks for a second that perhaps he has made a mistake in leaving the community. He would not be starving in the community. But he quickly reminds himself that if he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have starved for "feelings, for color, for love."

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