In The Giver, what did Jonas give to Gabriel, and why did he give it to him?

In The Giver, Jonas gives Gabriel the tranquil memory of sailing on a serene lake in order to help him sleep peacefully at night. Jonas also transfers calming memories to Gabriel to ease his nerves on their treacherous journey to Elsewhere. These memories allow Gabriel to sleep, which makes it easier for Jonas to travel and avoid search planes.

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Not all of the memories given to Jonas are nightmarish or horrific. Some of them are really quite pleasant and can be put to good use, as happens in relation to the newchild Gabriel, Jonas's brother.

In chapter 14 of The Giver, Gabriel, though doing very well during the daytime, struggles at night and finds it hard to get to sleep. His father is understandably worried that the little boy might have to be released, and that's the last thing that he wants.

Jonas doesn't want this to happen either. So he comes up with a plan. He gets Gabriel to nod off by giving him a calm, peaceful memory of sailing on a clear blue lake. This transference of a pleasant memory does the trick, and Gabriel is, at long last, able to sleep peacefully at night.

Unfortunately, Jonas's efforts are not enough to prevent Gabriel from being chosen for releasement. So he makes the decision to leave the community and take his brother with him. On their journey, when the weather gets harsh, Jonas gives Gabriel some more pleasant memories to calm his fraught nerves and help him sleep better. This also makes it easier for them to avoid being spotted by the planes that have been sent out to search for them.

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In chapter 14, Jonas volunteers to have Gabriel sleep in his room and inadvertently gives him a peaceful memory of sailing on a clear turquoise lake.

When Gabriel becomes restless in the middle of the night, Jonas lightly rubs his back to settle him down and recalls the tranquil memory of sailing on a breezy day. As he recalls the memory, Gabriel becomes quiet and the memory becomes dimmer. Suddenly, Jonas realizes he is transferring the memory and pulls his hand off Gabriel's back. When Gabriel wakes up again, Jonas repeats the process and deliberately transfers the remaining wisps of the peaceful memory. Once Jonas discovers that Gabriel possesses the ability to receive memories, he continues to transfer calming experiences, which help him sleep peacefully at night.

Later in the story, Jonas discovers that Gabriel will be released and flees the community with him under the cover of darkness. On their way to Elsewhere, Jonas transfers calming memories to Gabriel to calm his nerves, which puts him to sleep and helps them avoid search planes. Toward the end of their journey, the weather becomes extremely cold, and Jonas transfers warm memories to Gabriel as he climbs the steep hill, where he eventually finds the red sled.

Overall, Jonas gives Gabriel serene memories that allow him to sleep peacefully at night and journey safely to Elsewhere.

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In chapter 14 of Lowry's The Giver, Jonas gets up in the middle of the night to check on a whimpering baby Gabe, who has been staying in his room. Jonas touches Gabe to soothe him and daydreams about a calming memory of a sailboat on beautiful blue water. Unwittingly, Jonas passes that memory onto Gabe who quiets down in response. At first, Jonas isn't quite sure if the memory transferred and if it was the reason Gabe quieted down. However, Jonas has another opportunity to verify whether he can send soothing memories to Gabe during the early morning hours when the baby wakes again. The entire memory of the sailboat didn't transfer the first time Jonas touched Gabe, though. In an effort to discover if he has the ability to transfer memories to Gabe, which in turn will soothe the baby, the following is described:

Again Jonas went to him. This time he quite deliberately placed his hand firmly on Gabriel's back, and released the rest of the calming day on the lake. Again Gabriel slept (147).

As a result of this experiment, Jonas learns that he has the ability to deliver a memory to Gabe, then Gabe is able to receive the memory, and the result is a calming effect on the baby. This is important to know because Jonas uses this knowledge of his skill to help him transport Gabe away from the community, especially useful when they face unbearable obstacles such as hunger, fatigue, and cold and stormy weather.

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When Gabe comes to their house, Jonas realizes he is there to learn how to sleep through the night.  If he doesn't, Jonas is told, he'll be released.  Jonas sees something different about Gabe and wonders if Gabe can receive memories...and if Jonas can give them. So he asks his parents if Gabe can sleep in his room, and they agree.  

He experiments with giving Gabe pleasant memories to help him sleep, and it works. He later gives him memories to keep him quiet as they are escaping and again to keep him warm as they are in the snowstorm.

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I think what you are talking about is how Jonas gives memories to Gabe.  He does this for different reasons at different times.

At first, the reason Jonas gives Gabe memories is to help him sleep.  Gabe is a restless baby and Jonas is afraid he will not be able to get placed with a family if he won't sleep well.  If that happens, he'll be released.  So Jonas gives him soothing memories.

Then later, when they are running away, Jonas gives Gabe memories of snow to make him colder so that the airplanes' infrared detectors won't be able to "see" him.

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