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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES
Jonas goes to a meeting with the Giver. He sees that the Giver is in terrible pain. Jonas wants to help the Giver by taking some of the pain. When the Giver agrees, Jonas lays on the bed and receives a dreadful memory of war. Just when he can stand it no longer the dream ends. The Giver apologizes to Jonas for giving him the dream.
This is an extremely short chapter.
The author, who lost one of her children to war, knows first-hand the pain that it causes even to those not actively involved in it.
Jonas does not want to continue being the Receiver of Memories. But, he has no choice. It has been decided for him.
The Giver understands Jonasís feelings well. He treats him with compassion. He reminds him that there are many pleasant memories. Jonas asks him about his favorite memory. The Giver does not hesitate to transmit it to him.
The Giverís favorite memory is of a family Christmas gathering. There are three generations present. There is a tree and presents and much, much love.
Afterward, Jonas questions why the old people are there. In their community the old are in the House of the Old. The Giver says that the old people are called grandparents. He explains that they are the parentsí parents. They discuss the people in their community. The Giver says that Jonas can find out who the parents of his parents are by going to the Hall of Open Records. When Jonas and Lily are grown and get their own houses and possibly, their own families, their parents will go to live with Childless Adults. When they no longer work, they will go to the House of the Old.
Afterward, Jonas tells the Giver that he wishes that the Giver was his grandfather. He wishes living arrangements were more like in the memory. He quickly adds that he knows that the way living arrangements are now is better. He adds that the old way was dangerous. They had fire in the fireplace and candles. But they did make one feel warm.
When he gets home, after much rehearsal, Jonas asks his parents if they love him. Mother refers to love as a meaningless word. Jonas is taken aback. To him it is full of important meanings. The parents bring up the requirement for precision of language. Love is an imprecise word. Yes, they enjoy him and they take pride in his accomplishments. When Mother asks if he understands why the word love is inappropriate, Jonas tells his first lie.
That evening, Gabriel is again in Jonasís sleepingroom. He had been in there and sleeping well for a number of nights, so he had been considered to be ready to return to the Nurturing Center in preparation for the December Ceremony in two months, when he would go to a family of his own. But, he did not continue to sleep through the night in the center, so he is once again back with Jonasís family and back in Jonasís sleepingroom at night. As Gabriel sleeps, Jonas talks to him, voicing what is on his mind that he usually keeps to himself. He describes to the sleeping Gabriel how things could be better. Gabriel is sleeping well now because Jonas has been giving him pleasant memories.
The next morning, Jonas does not take his pill. The memories are causing him to look at life differently now.
Earlier, we got the feeling that Jonas was pleased to be the Receiver of Memories. He seemed to thrive on the knowledge that he was acquiring. But, when he decides that he does not want to continue being the Receiver because of the pain in the memories, we find out that he has no choice. The choice was made without any input from him. And, he cannot change it.
The Giver is a very compassionate person. He understands what Jonas is going through. He tries to alleviate his suffering as much as he can, even to the extent of giving him one of his most valued memories.
When Jonas wishes that the Giver was his grandfather, we are aware that possibly he really is. They both have light, deep eyes. Regardless of whether or not he is Jonasís grandfather, he fills a role in his life not unlike that of a grandfather.
When Jonas voices both his desire that life be more like in the memories and his understanding that life is better-arranged in his community we realize that he is only partly converted.
Jonasís parents have no understanding of the importance of love. But, they do seem to exhibit some signs that they feel love for Jonas and Lily, even if they do not call it by that name.
Gabriel needs to shape up and start sleeping through the night at the Nurturing Center very soon. He needs to be ready to go to his new parents in two months. If he isnít, there is a strong implication that his time will be up.
Jonasís decision to stop taking his pill is a major step in his conversion from supportive member of the community to wise member of the community.