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An important word in the book that starts with w is wretched.
The word wretched means “shameful” or “worthless.” It appears only once, but in a very important context.
When Jonas sees his first release, he is shocked to learn that people in his community are killed by lethal injection. He also learns that a former Receiver, Rosemary, requested to be released. The Giver did not want her to do it, but could not stop her. He watched her inject herself.
I don't know about bravery: what it is, what it means. I do know that I sat here numb with horror. Wretched with helplessness. And I listened as Rosemary told them that she would prefer to inject herself. (Ch. 19, p. 151)
When he describes himself as “wretched,” the Giver is coming up with the worst word he can think of to describe how terrible and helpless he felt. Rosemary was his daughter and he loved her. He could not shield her from the truth, and he could not prevent her from killing herself.
Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
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