What would it be like to experience love in a community that doesn't understand it, as in "The Giver"?

Quick answer:

To feel love in the midst of a community that cannot relate to the feeling would be lonely. We see that Jonas is lonely when he talks to Gabe about love. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, love is the third most important human need after physiological and safety needs. The Giver and Jonas realize how important it is for the community to feel true emotions, so they hatch a plan to release the memories.

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In Lois Lowry’s book The Giver, the Receiver of Memory is the person who holds onto all of the memories and emotions of the past. Jonas is in training to be the Receiver, and during this time, the Giver and Jonas are the only two people in the community who know what emotions like love and pain are. Being the only ones who feel emotions like these is quite isolating. Recall how Jonas goes home at night and talks to the newchild Gabe about all the community is missing out on. He gives Gabe beautiful memories of colors and happiness and nature and whispers to him,

Things could change, Gabe ... Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors ... And grandparents ... Gabe? ... There could be love ...

The fact that Jonas is talking to a baby about these things shows that he wishes he could share these emotions with others. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, love and belonging are the third most important needs after physiological and safety needs are met. People need to live in genuine community with others and experience intimate relationships with those around them. Jonas and the Giver are unable to do this with anyone but each other because no one else knows what love is like.

Consider the scene in which Jonas asks his parents if they love him. His parents scold him for not using precise language and act as if the word love does not have any meaning. At this moment, Jonas realizes how alone he really is in his feelings and how badly things have to change. In the end, the Giver and Jonas come up with a plan that they hope will release the memories to the community. Although they are aware that it will be difficult, they know that people need to feel real emotions.

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