What happens in these chapters are very important and become incredibly crucial for the rest of the novel. Chapter Eight begins just at the end of the Ceremony of Twelve, where Jonas, like the rest of the audience, is incredibly anxious because his assignment has not been read out and he is wondering why. However, he is told that he will be working with the Receiver of Memories to become the next Receiver of Memories for the community. We gradually realise that this role is to experience and to contain memories from "normal" life from our time so that the Receiver of Memories can have a greater understanding of life outside of this isolated community and can give wisdom and advice to its leaders about how to respond in various situations.
However, Jonas quickly realises what a double-edged sword this position is. On the one hand, he is free from the normal rules that constrain those around him. On the other hand, his heightened awareness, experience and understanding of things such as suffering and joy in the world, things which the rest of the community have never experienced, makes him feel separate and alone from his former friends. He begins to feel the weight of a massive responsibility on his shoulders.