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Free Study Guide for The Giver by Lois Lowry

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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES


CHAPTER TWELVE


Summary

In the morning Mother asks Jonas if he dreamed last night and he shakes his head indicating that he didn’t. Actually he did dream last night. He was in snow on a sled going down a hill just like in the dream. He dreamt of the ride many times. But there was more to the dream. There was a strong emotion. When he reached the bottom of the hill, he longed to go further, to reach a welcoming destination that lay ahead of him.

In school all the Twelves talk eagerly about their new Assignments. Jonas is not supposed to discuss his Assignment. He thinks to himself that anyway he could not describe his experience, the snow, the hill, to his fellow students. They had never experienced height or wind or cold. They would not understand.

After school, as Jonas rides with Fiona, she mentions that she waited for him yesterday. He apologizes for causing her to wait and tells her that he stayed longer than expected. He doesn’t tell her what took place while he was there. He changes the subject to Fiona’s training. She tells him that there are still many things for her to learn. She tells him that one thing she learned yesterday was that a discipline wand is used on the Old, as it is used on children.

After Jonas and Fiona reach the House of the Old and park their bicycles, that thing happens again. What he now thinks of as seeing beyond happens. This time it happens to Fiona’s hair. Jonas decides to ask the Giver about it.

When Jonas tells the Giver about the apple and the audience and Fiona’s hair, the Giver seems to understand what has been happening. He has Jonas return to the memory of the sled ride that he gave him yesterday. He has him look down at the sled. When Jonas does this, he sees that the sled has the same quality as the apple, the faces at the Ceremony, and Fiona’s hair. Only, the quality stays with the sled. It doesn’t change like the apple, the faces and Fiona’s hair changed.


When Jonas returns from the memory, the Giver has him look at one of the shelves of books. Jonas tells him that the same thing happened to the books, but it did not last. The Giver concludes that Jonas is beginning to see color, the color red.

The faces at the ceremony were not red, but had red tones. On the subject of skin color, the Giver tells Jonas that before Sameness skin had many different colors.

Regarding Fiona’s hair, the Giver says that the genetic scientists are still working on perfecting hair color. After all this time, they still have not completely mastered Sameness.

The Giver tells Jonas that he sees all the colors all the time now. And, Jonas will see more colors as he receives more memories.

The Giver continues. Long, long ago, when they went to Sameness, they gave up color. That was at the same time that they gave up sunshine. That was when they gave up differences. Their control of many things increased. But, other things had to be given up. When Jonas voices his disagreement with what was done, the Giver compliments him on how quickly he came to that decision. It took him much longer.

Now it is time to transmit another memory. The next one will be of a rainbow.


Notes


Jonas wants to follows the directions that he has been given. He does not want to tell others about his dreams. And, he knows that he is now allowed to lie. But, he prefers to just shake his head instead of saying out loud that he did not dream.

The end of Jonas’s dream gives us a foreshadowing of what happens later. It also shows us what is actually going on inside Jonas. As his horizon widens, he knows that he wants more out of life.

As Jonas learns more from the memories and from the Giver, he feels a widening divide between himself and the other Twelves with whom he goes to school.

Again we see the discipline wand mentioned. Fiona has helped out at the House of the Old many times in the past, yet she only found out about the wand after receiving her Assignment. Anything unpleasant is kept from all those who do not need to know.


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