How did Jonas feel about knowing more than his family in The Giver?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas often feels angry and frustrated about knowing more than both his family and his friends.  Now that the Giver has transferred some memories to him, his life has taken on a beauty and energy that he never before could have imagined.  Instead of greyness and sameness, he is beginning to see color, and he is developing concepts about ideas and realities far beyond anything he has ever experienced in the Community.  Jonas feels angry, irrationally angry, that his family members and friends are "satisfied with their lives which (have) none of the vibrance his own (is) taking on...and he (is) angry at himself, that he (can) not change that for them".

On the day when the Giver transfers the memory of elephants to him, in all their majesty even in tragedy, Jonas goes home and sees Lily playing with her comfort object, a stuffed elephant.  He longs to be able to give her an understanding of what an elephant really was like, and even though it is against the rules, he tries to transfer a piece of the memory to her.  Jonas wants give Lily a sense of "the being of the elephant, of the towering, immense creature", and the tenderness with which it is capable of showing towards others of its species despite its great size.  Lily, however, is oblivious, and even gets annoyed that he is touching her in trying to pass the memory on to her.  Like Lily, Jonas's parents and friends are incapable of sharing the knowledge Jonas now has, and Jonas feels isolated, angry, and alone (Chapter 14).