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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES
The Giver transmits the first of many memories to Jonas. It seems very real to him. A part of his mind realizes that he is still lying on the bed, but, at the same time he experiences all the feelings of cold and speed that the actual experience would give. This is achieved by the Giver placing his hands on Jonasís bare back. Finally the piled snow causes the sled to stop.
When the transmission is over, and Jonas opens his eyes, the Giver tells Jonas that he no longer has the memory of the experience. Now, it is Jonasís instead. Because he no longer carries the memory, he feels lighter. But, he is still exhausted from the experience. In response to questioning by Jonas, the Giver says that he still has many, many memories of other rides on other sleds down other hills in other snow.
Jonas is full of questions now. Why is there no snow where they live? Was there ever snow there? The Giver explains that the memory is from long, long ago, in the distant past. He explains that is why giving the memory to Jonas was so exhausting. It had to be pulled up from the past. It was exhausting for the Receiver before him, when he gave him the memory, too.
The Giver explains that Climate Control put an end to snow. That was at the time when Sameness started. The same happened to hills. There were no hills after Sameness started. Jonas wishes there were still hills and snow, at least some of the time. Jonas suggests that the Giver could do something to bring them back because the Giver has power. The Giver corrects him. He does not have power, only honor.
Next, the Giver gives Jonas the memory for sunshine. Sunshine is new to Jonas, but he perceives the word on his own, without explanation from the Giver. The Giver is pleased. His job will be easier. The Giver explains that, before Sameness with its Climate Control, sunshine came from the sky.
Before their session ends, Jonas brings up the subject of pain. Both the Chief Elder and the Giver have mentioned that there will be pain. The Giver says that will come later. He wants first to give Jonas pleasant memories. He learned that is better when he lost the last Receiver. When Jonas declares that he is brave, the Giver decides to give him one more memory. He gives him the memory of sunburn. Jonas feels the pain, but is glad to have the experience.
Before leaving, Jonas brings up the subject of what to call the old man. Up until now, he has been told that the old man is the Receiver and he, Jonas, is the Receiver. The old man says that he can call him the Giver. (In this review, we have already started referring to him as the Giver.)
The method by which the Giver transmits memories to Jonas seems unusual. He seems to simply put his hands on Jonasís back and the memories flow from him to Jonas. How does this work? We are never told. It seems mystical or magical.
In this chapter Sameness is mentioned. This name describes the community way of life very well. The emphasis is on everyone being the same as much as possible, with any differences being ignored. To call attention to any difference is considered to be impolite.
Sameness sounds like it would be a boring environment in which to live. There are more important considerations than efficiency. Variations make life more interesting.
Starting Sameness must have been a gigantic task, probably taking more than one generation. It seems that a society that was able to complete such a task would have also been able to continue as they were. They had to already be quite efficient or they could never have finished the task.
The Giver makes a distinction between honor and power. Those who have honor have respect. Those who have power have influence. Some things cannot be achieved with honor alone. But, it can be used to influence those with power. That is what the Giver does. The Elders have power and the Giver influences them because they know that he has the memories and is very wise.