What did Jonas dream in chapter twelve of The Giver?

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Shame on your local library for not having this wonderful book!  In Chapter 12, Jonas dreams of a recent memory the Giver gave him in Chapter 11, which is of sledding down a snowy hill. This was Jonas' first experience of coldness, of snow, of going downhill, or of a sled, none of these being experiences that the community could provide him with because in the interests of efficiency and sameness, the climate control of the community allowed no extreme temperatures, hills had been done away with because they made movement difficult, and of course, given no snow or hills, sleds would have been pointless. The memory has made a vivid impression on him, making him feel emotions such as exhilaration,"a breathless glee" (p. 82). In the dream, Jonas has the sense that his sled on a hill is meant to be part of a journey to a particular place, "as if there were a destination" (p. 88).  And he feels that this is a good thing, that wherever he was meant to journey, it was "welcoming" (88) and "significant" (88). I do not want to spoil for you the pleasure of reading what is to follow in this story, but remember this dream because it is important, some foreshadowing of what is to follow.        

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