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Free Study Guide for The Giver by Lois Lowry

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The memory of snow and sled this time is different. The ride downhill is not smooth. The sled is out of control. There is a crash and then Jonas hears the bone in his leg crack. His face skids over ice, tearing the flesh. There is unbearable pain. When Jonas finds himself once again back on the bed in the Giverís room, he finds that his leg is straight, not broken, like it was in the memory. But, there is still some pain. Jonas asks the Giver for relief-of-pain, but the Giver does not give him any. Jonas limps home.

That night, Jonas does not share what happened with his family. He does not take any relief-of-pain medication either. He follows the rules regarding sharing and medication. He is brave, like the Chief Elder said at the Ceremony of Twelve. Over and over, he dreams of the accident in the memory.

After the memory of the sledding accident, the memories always include pain. At the end of each pain filled afternoon, the Giver kindly gives Jonas a pleasurable memory. At one meeting, Jonas asks why the painful memories are needed. The Giver tells him that the memories give him wisdom. Without wisdom, advice could not be given. For example, when the Elders asked for advice on increasing the population, the Giver had pulled up his memory of starvation and advised against an increase.

The Giver tells Jonas that starvation can lead to war. Then Jonas realizes something. He will need to receive memories of war, very painful memories. He wishes that the memories could be shared. The Giver tells him that the people do not want the memories of pain. That is why they want there to be Receivers of Memory.

Jonas is not ready to give up on the idea of sharing. Together, the two of them can think of a way to convince people to accept memories. The Giver disagrees. Jonas realizes then that changes can not be made.

At home, the family is discussing Gabriel. He is progressing nicely, but is still having difficulty sleeping at night. Fatherís thoughts turn to another developing situation involving newchildren. Soon twin boys will be born. One will need to be released. It will most likely be the one with the lower weight. Jonas has the belief that when newchildren are released they go Elsewhere to live. He imagines the smallest twin going Elsewhere and being received by Larrisa, who was recently released.

Jonas asks if he can put Gabrielís crib in his room. That way, Father and Mother can sleep through the night. The family agrees with Jonasís plan. At first, Gabriel sleeps soundly, but later, he wakes up. Jonas comforts Gabriel. As he does so he thinks of a pleasant memory of sailing that he recently received. Before he realizes it, the memory starts to move to Gabriel. When he feels the memory leaving him, he realizes what is happening. He pulls his hand away from Gabriel. As he stands beside Gabrielís crib no longer touching Gabriel, he recalls the memory again. Now the memory is less intense.

Later, Gabriel reawakens. Jonas puts his hand on Gabrielís back a second time and gives him the remainder of the memory. He notices emptiness where the memory had been.

Jonas wants a memory of sailing for his own pleasure. But, he doesnít think that he should ask the Giver for another one. Jonas knows that the Giver would be alerted to the possibility that Jonas gave someone a memory. Jonas does not yet have permission to be a Giver. And, Gabriel has not been selected as a Receiver. He plans to keep this a secret.


Jonas has followed the rules he was given when he received his Assignment, even though it has been difficult at times. But, now, he has a problem. He has transmitted a memory without permission. And, he has decided not to tell.

Jonas has become wiser and wiser, but he still thinks that being released means going Elsewhere.

When Jonas first transmits the memory of sailing to Gabriel, it is accidental, not on purpose. But, shortly afterward, he willingly transmits the rest of the memory.

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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Giver". . 09 May 2017