When Jonas asked what made the Giver suffer, what memory did the Giver transmit to explain it in the book The Giver?  

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jonas asks the Giver what makes him suffer, the Giver responds by instructing him to recall the memory of the hill, and the sled.  Jonas does as he is told, and notices that the scene in his mind is slightly different; the hill is steeper, it is colder, and "the snow beneath the sled (is) not thick and solft as it had been before, but hard, and coated with bluish ice".  As the sled begins its downward plunge, the runners cannot slice through the snow as they did before.  Instead, they "(skitter) sideways and the sled gather(s) speed".  Jonas tries to steer but finds he is "at the mercy of the wild acceleration downward over the ice".  Out of control, the sled hits a bump and Jonas is "jarred loose and thrown violently into the air".  He lands with his leg twisted under him, and he hears the crack of bone.

Jonas gasps when the first wave of pain hits him.  In agony, he tries to move but cannot; he screams, but there is no answer.  Mercifully, he suddenly finds himself in the Annex room again.  His leg, straight and unbroken, still aches horribly, but when he begs the Giver for "relief-of-pain", the Giver reluctantly refuses; it is against the rules for Jonas to receive pain-relief for anything connected to his training.

The Giver does not want to give the painful memories to Jonas, but he knows he must because it is the job of the Receiver of Memory to hold these memories for the people, so that they themselves do not have to suffer.  The Giver teaches Jonas that it is because they hold these memories that they have wisdom that the people do not have because they have chosen to insulate themselves from ever feeling pain.  That night, when, with his leg throbbing, he goes home, Jonas realizes that his family, like the rest of the Community members, has never known pain, and the realization makes him feel "desperately lonely" (Chapter 14).

megan71689 | Student

In chapter 15 of The Giver, Jonas arrives to see The Giver in one of his painful episodes. In the past, Jonas would leave and return the next day. However, with Jonas's new understanding of what pains The Giver he offers to relieve some of the pain by taking a memory that is cause of said pain. The memory that is transmitted is one of warfare, which Jonas knows nothing about. The memory opens up with clues that lead the reader to understand it is is the civil war based on clothing, horses, and the description of the battlefield. Jonas endures multiple forms of pain through this memory and comes to understand why The Giver is suffering intermittently throughout his training. The physical pain that Jonas endures is obvious, but the emotional and mental anguish that he struggles to comprehend as he sees the vastness of devastation that is inflicted on man kind through war, is even more complex and unimaginable. Being that in Jonas's community it is not even permitted to point out differences causes turmoil for Jonas as he attempts to fathom the reasons for war. The memories of emotional pain and devastation of warfare are the most significant memories that cause The Giver so much anguish.Through the transmission of the memory to Jonas, The Giver is alleviated of a little of his anguish, but Jonas now must relive the memory and endure the understanding of the ills of past humanity.

user7870940 | Student

The Giver first gives Jonas only happy memories in hopes that he would stay instead of releasing himself like the last receiver. Eventually however Jonas asks for the painful memories which starts with the sledding again, but this time the hill was covered in ice and the rider falls and gets injured. Then they get worse and worse including the war and poaching memories.