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).
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.