Just as the Giver said that he would, Jonas learns the colors through the memories he is given. But, when he sees the colors outside the memories, they are fleeting. They do not stay with him. Jonas is angry because he cannot hold onto them. He tells the Giver that seeing the colors would allow him to make choices. He wants to make choices. For an example of how nice it would be if everyone could make choices, Jonas mentions Gabriel's toys. Jonas calls Gabriel his brother and then corrects himself. After thinking about it, Jonas decides that it would be fine for a child to be able to see color and make choices. However, it would be dangerous for people to be able to make choices after they mature. They could make bad choices. Jonas decides that not having choices is safer. But, somehow, he feels unsatisfied. And, Jonas's anger lingers.

Jonas wants his friends to be able to see colors as he does. He tries to transmit the ability to see the color of a flower to Asher by touching his shoulder like the Giver does to him when transmitting the memories. However, he comes across as rude. Touching another is considered rude.

Another time, Jonas tries to transmit to Lily and Father the memory of an elephant, a real one, not Lily's comfort object elephant. But, he is only successful in irritating Lily.

Jonas questions the Giver about whether he ever had a spouse. He did. The Giver tells Jonas of the difficulties of having a wife and not being able to share his work with her. The Giver goes on to say that part of his work is giving counsel to the Committee of Elders when they ask for it. But, they seldom ask for his advice.

This leads to the subject of the failed Receiver. When she failed, her memories went out into the community. Everyone had access to them. This was very upsetting. There was real suffering until the memories were assimilated.

They discuss the way the brain works. Jonas starts to quote his teachers, but the Giver says that the teachers are well trained but that they know nothing because they do not have the memories.

Some days, when Jonas goes to see the Giver he is sent away. This is because the Giver is in pain on those days. When he is sent away, he spends the afternoon exercising his new memories. He concentrates on grass or the sky until he sees green or blue. Then he holds onto the color as long as he can. At other times, he remembers sunshine until he can actually feel warmth. Sometimes, he stands at the bridge that is crossed only with permission. On the other side one can reach communities like his own but slightly different. The area between the various communities is flat. It is farmland. Jonas's thoughts go to the area beyond the nearby communities, to Elsewhere. He wonders if there are still hills Elsewhere. Is there wind?

One day Jonas asks the Giver what causes pain. Jonas tells the Giver to give him some of the pain to carry for him. The Giver agrees that it is time. It will all be Jonas's to bear in the future, he says. The Giver decides to begin with a memory that will be partially familiar to Jonas. It is of a hill and a sled.


Jonas mistakenly referring to Gabriel as his brother illustrates for us the closeness that he is developing with the newchild. It illustrates the changes that are occurring in Jonas as he mentally moves further away from the ways of the community and closer to those of the Giver. We remember what Lily suggested earlier. Perhaps they both have light eyes because they have the same birth mother.

Jonas decides that not having choices is safer. But, he questions whether it is actually better than having choices.

Why is touching considered to be rude? The rational is that touching would tend to develop connections between individuals. For a stable community, individuals should have a strong connection to the community as a whole, not to individual members of the community.

It is difficult to accept the belief of those who developed Sameness that a world without animals is better.

The Giver cannot give the Elders advice that they do not ask for. If he could, he could help the community tremendously. The requirement that advice be requested prevents the community from improving itself.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".