In The Giver, what is the role of the Reciever, besides receiving the memories from the Giver?

In The Giver, besides receiving the community's memories from the giver, the role of Receiver of Memory is to bear all of humanity's pain and suffering. The community is one that is shielded from strong emotions. Jonas's job as the Receiver of Memory is thus to experience those emotions for all. Moreover, he must prevent the community from making past mistakes and thus has to make decisions for the entire community.

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The Receiver of Memory is in training to eventually become the highest leader in the community. The position is so respected that when the Elders cannot arrive at a decision, they leave the ultimate determination up to the Receiver of Memory. Because these types of community decisions require much information that the citizens are shielded from, the Receiver must acquire all the memories of the past. As such, he or she must learn to recognize complex emotions never experienced before, such as fear and love.

The Receiver must learn to live separate and apart, conditioning himself to a life of near isolation since no one else would understand the experiences of his daily life. In fact, there are rules that forbid discussing the training with anyone, including parents.

Learning about and processing an entire history of the world is also included in this role. Jonas is so confused by this component of training that he asks,

The whole world? I don't understand. Do you mean it's not just us? Not just the community? Do you mean Elsewhere, too? ...I don't know what you mean when you say "the whole world" or "generations before him." I thought there was only us. I thought there was only now.

This new knowledge forces an entirely new construct of what the world and its history is and has been. It is so far removed from citizens' lives, who exist only in the present, that this component alone takes much training.

Through the training, the Receiver's role is to gain wisdom. This process is at times painful but allows the Receiver to guide the community through difficulties which arise through their intentional lack of experience. As a wise leader, the Receiver is relied upon by the community to be their ultimate source of instruction and guide them in the proper directions.

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Jonas is given the highly respected position of the Receiver of Memory at his Ceremony of Twelve. His job is to receive the community's past memories from the Giver. He holds the community's collective memory in order to prevent his community from repeating the mistakes of the past. Jonas must bear the pain and suffering for all of his community and sacrifices his ignorance and previously peaceful existence once he becomes Receiver of Memory.

As the Receiver of Memory, Jonas is able to experience true emotions, both good and bad. He eventually realizes how bland and almost pointless life is in his community. As the Receiver of Memory, he is ultimately shut off from the rest of his world, as he is prevented from sharing any of the secrets he learns. The role of the Receiver of Memory is to become passionate and sensitive so that the rest of the community can live in Sameness, but this leads Jonas to feel isolated and excluded from his family and friends. The training he receives from the Giver grants him extremely powerful emotions and experiences that, as a twelve-year-old, he is not fully equipped to handle. Along with the Giver, Jonas becomes one of the wisest people in the community at the young age of twelve.

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The Receiver's main assignment is to receive the memories of the past from the Giver during their training sessions in the Annex. While the Receiver is experiencing both the pleasant and difficult memories of the past, he is gaining wisdom and perspective. This wisdom and perspective will be important once the Giver transfers all of his memories to the Receiver. The Receiver will then consult the Committee of Elders when necessary in order to advise them on how their decisions will impact the community by using examples of the past, which is something the Committee of Elders does not have access to themselves. In the novel, Jonas is selected to be the community's next Receiver and he gains valuable insight into the past. After fully understanding how his community functions, Jonas and the Giver come up with a plan to alter the community's way of life forever.

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The Receiver's job is to receive memories, yes.  Also, to transition into the role of The Giver.  Once the Giver has given the memories to the receiver, the receiver will become the Giver.  Then it will be his job to hold onto those memories so that the rest of the community doesn't have to know about them.  Then, periodically, the council might ask the Giver for advice on a particular situation, and he will draw upon his memories to help them find a solution to their problems or an answer for their questions.  The life of the Giver is mostly quiet and lonely, since no one else in the whole community understands what he knows, or can see the world as he can.  Even just the simple ability to see color separates him from the rest of the world that can't see them.  So, mostly, he stays in his quarters and reads books, and waits for someone to need his services.  After that, he will just wait until it is time to train a new Receiver to take his place.

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