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Free Study Guide-The Giver by Lois Lowry-Free Book Notes Summary Online
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QUOTATIONS / QUOTES (continued)

“What did you perceive?” the Giver asked. “Warmth,” Jonas replied, “and happiness. And-let me think. Family. That it was a celebration of some sort, a holiday. And something else-I can’t quite get the word for it.”

“It will come to you.”

“Who were the old people? Why were they there?” It had puzzled Jonas seeing them in the room. The Old of the community did not ever leave their special place, The House of the Old, where they were so well cared for and respected.

“They were called Grandparents.” (Page 123)

In this exchange Jonas and the Giver are discussing a memory that Jonas just received. It is the Giver’s favorite memory. It is a memory of a holiday celebration in a three-generation household. In the community where Jonas lives there are no multi-generation families. Once the children are grown, there are not even twogeneration families. The “something else” that Jonas senses is love. This memory has a profound effect on Jonas.

“Things could change, Gabe,” Jonas went on. “Things could be different. I don’t know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors.

“And, grandparents” he added, staring through the dimness toward the ceiling of his sleepingroom. “And everyone would have the memories.

“You know about memories,” he whispered, turning toward the crib.

...”There could be love.” Jonas whispered. (Page 128-129)

Jonas is talking to Gabriel while Gabriel sleeps. Jonas has been giving Gabriel some peaceful memories to help him sleep. Jonas knows that he is not supposed to talk about the memories with anyone except the Giver. Somehow, talking about them to a sleeping Gabriel seems acceptable. What Jonas says allows us to know Jonas’s thoughts.

Jonas is growing quickly and what he thinks is changing just as quickly.


“What’s wrong, Jonas? It was only a game.” Fiona said.

“You ruined it.” Asher said in an irritated voice.

“Don’t play it anymore.” Jonas pleaded. ...”You had no way of knowing this. I didn’t know it myself until recently. But, it’s a cruel game. In the past there have--“ (Page 134)

Jonas gives up mid-sentence trying to get through to his friends.

Jonas has just found a group of children, including Fiona and Asher, playing a game of war. They have no idea of the background of the game. They just know how to play it. But, Jonas has a memory of war now. He knows about its horrors. He is feeling a separation from his friends that he does not like. He desperately wants them to understand what he now understands. But, they don’t.

“Do you actually take it to Elsewhere, Father?’ Jonas asked.

“No, I just have to make the selection. I weight them, hand the larger over to a Nurturer who’s standing by, waiting, and then I get the smaller one all cleaned up and comfy. Then I perform a small Ceremony of Release and--“He glanced down at Gabriel. “Then I wave bye-bye,” he said in the special sweet voice he used when he spoke to the newchild. He waved his hand in the familiar gesture. (Pages 136-7)

This is when Father lies about release. Jonas has been wondering about the details of release. Soon, he will see a video of the actual release and be upset that Father lied, as well as upset about the release itself. This conversation lays the groundwork for the revelation that will cause Jonas to make plans.

“The community lost Rosemary after five weeks and it was a disaster for them. I don’t know what the community would do if they lost you.”

“Why was it a disaster?”

...“...When she was gone, the memories came back to the people. If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever....” (Page 144)

The Giver is telling Jonas about the prior Receiver, who did not complete her training ten years ago. When she was released, her memories came back to the community and the painful ones disturbed the people. Jonas has more memories than she had at the time of her release, so there would be more to come flooding back to the people in the community.

The Giver was still deep in thought. After a moment, he said, “If you floated off in the river, I suppose I could help the whole community the way I’ve helped you. It’s an interesting concept....” (Page 145)

This is where the Giver first gets the idea to stay with the people if something happens to Jonas that causes the memories to flow back to the community. He and Jonas incorporate this into their plan, although Jonas doesn’t like the idea. Jonas wants the Giver to be with him.

“And after we eat,” he went on, “ we’ll make a plan.”

Jonas looked up, puzzled. “A plan for what? There’s nothing. There’s nothing we can do. It’s always been this way. Before me, before you, before the ones who came before you. Back and back and back.” ...

“Jonas,” the Giver said after a moment, “it’s true that it’s been this way for what seems forever. But the memories tell us that it has not always been. People felt things once. You and I have been part of that, so we know. We know that they once felt things like pride and sorrow and--“

“And love,” Jonas added, remembering the family scene that had so affected him. “And pain.” He thought again of the soldier. (Page 154)

Jonas feels that there is no way to improve the situation. It seems hopeless. But, the Giver has not given up hope. The Giver’s hope is infectious and Jonas catches it.

Sameness was started many, many generations back, but the memories are from prior to Sameness, so the Giver and Jonas are both aware of the fact that there is another way.

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