Briefly describe the torturing memory that the Giver gave Jonas in Chapter 15 of "The Giver".

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The torturing memory that the Giver gives Jonas in this chapter is the memory of war.

When Jonas arrives that day, he finds the Giver sitting rigid, in extreme distress.  The Giver, unable to bear what he is feeling alone, entreats Jonas to "take some of the pain".  When the old sage lays his hands on Jonas, Jonas finds himself lying in a field in the aftermath of a fierce battle.  It is "a confused, noisy, foul-smelling place...the air (is) thick with smoke...aound him, everywhere...(lie) groaning men".  Near him lies "a boy who seem(s) not much older than himself...sprawled, his gray uniform glistening with wet, fresh blood".  The boy stares at Jonas and begs for water; Jonas, discovering that he is wounded himself, painfully opens his own canteen and "extend(s) his arm slowly across the blood-soaked earth...and (holds) it to the lips of the boy".  The boy sighs, and falls back, dead.

Meanwhile, "the noise continue(s) all around...the cries of the wounded men, the cries begging for water and for Mother and for death...horses lying on the ground shriek(ing)".  Jonas hears "the thud of canons" in the distance, and lies there, "overwhelmed by the fearsome stench for hours, listen(ing) to the men and animals die".  The scene is from the American Civil War, but it could be any battle throughout history (Chapter 15).