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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES
The next afternoon when they meet, Jonas asks the Giver about release. Neither of them is allowed to request release. The memories are too important to the community. They discuss the prior Receiver-to-be, the one who was lost ten years ago. There was no rule at that time forbidding the Receiver-to-be to request release. After she had received more painful memories than she could bear, she had requested release and, because it was not forbidden to her, the community had to release her.
The Giver tells Jonas what happened after she was released. The memories went to the community and the people all suffered with the memories. The Giver was too grief-stricken to help them. He cautions Jonas to take care that nothing accidentally happens to him because he has even more memories now than the earlier Receiver-to-be had at the time of her release. It would be much harder on the people now, if something happened to him and his memories were released. The Giver adds that perhaps he could help the people instead of concentrating on his own grief.
It is likely that when the people were flooded with the unwelcome, painful memories that came from the previous Receiver-to-be, their demand that memories be held only by the Receiver of Memory was reinforced. It would be very difficult for someone to try to change the setup with the unwelcome flood of memories still recent.
The Giver is very wise. He seems to be growing wiser, too. When the prior Receiver-to-be was lost, he did not help the community because he himself was too grief-stricken. But, now he knows that a better way would be helping other even though he is grief-stricken.