The Giver

why is the keeper of memories so important to the community in which Jonas lives?

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The Keeper of Memories (The Giver) is very important to the community in which Jonas lives because he holds and keeps all the negative, painful memories of the past from entering the minds of all the other people in the community. Therefore, the community members can live happy, peaceful, painless lives. However, without experiencing or having knowledge of horrible things like war and famine the governing council does not know how their decisions could harm the community members. At times the Council is faced with things they know nothing about - like the plane flying overhead at the beginning of the story. When this happens they go to the Giver for advice on what happend and what to do. The council at one time considered letting each family raise 3 children. However, the Giver, based on his memories knew that this would bring about hunger because the food supply would not support that big of a population so the Giver advised the Council not to do this.