How will Jonas spend his time as Receiver-in-Training in The Giver?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of the ceremony of Twelves, in his anxiety of not having been assigned a life role, Jonas finally learns that he is to become the new Receiver of memories. In Chapter 10, Jonas reports to the Annex where he will begin his training as Receiver of Memory. When he meets the man who instructs Jonas to refer to him as the Giver, Jonas is struck by the weariness and age of the man who informs he that he will be given "the memories of the whole world."

Having heard these words, Jonas tries to grasp the meaning of "the whole world" since all he has known is his community. Now, he is to learn of "Elsewhere" and "all that goes back, and back, and back." In other words, he is to learn the history of the world, the wars, the struggles, the victories, the pains and sorrows, the joys of many a lifetime. But, to begin, the Giver decides to transmit the memory of snow, a painless experience as Jonas has the sensation of riding a sled. Later, he will be given the more burdensome memories of mankind as well as the ability to differentiate certain sensory experiences, such as color. Each day, Jonas will report to the Giver, but he must not share his memories with anyone. They are simply to be stored in his mind in case they are needed by the Elders in any of their decision-making processes. Jonas begins an interesting, but lonely, experience.