The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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In The Giver, what happens to the community after Rosemary's release?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 13, the Giver explains the significance of his job to Jonas and tells him that he rarely advises the Committee of Elders. When Jonas mentions that he does not know why the community even needs a Receiver, the Giver responds by telling him that the community was reminded of why his occupation is necessary ten years ago. The Giver then explains to Jonas that when the last Receiver was released in the middle of her training, the painful memories that she received were released into the community. The Giver attempts to explain to Jonas that the memories went back into the atmosphere, and the people in the community had access to them. He proceeds to tell Jonas that the difficult memories caused chaos throughout the community and people suffered. The Giver explains that the last incident made the citizens aware that it was necessary to have a Giver to contain all the painful memories and knowledge. The terrible events following the former Receiver's release is the reason Jonas is not allowed to request release. Essentially, the community wants to prevent the difficult memories from being released into the community again, where they cause chaos and distress.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When Rosemary was released, the memories that she had received were returned to the community.  Chaos resulted.  The Giver was distraught and in morning, so he was not able to guide and comfort the community members.  Although her memories were mostly positive, the community was not used to having memories.  Those few memories of pain had terrible consequences for the community members.  Although it is not described in detail, remember that the community’s main purpose is to avoid any kind of discomfort.

After Rosemary’s release, the community waited a long time before choosing another Receiver.  They had to be careful to choose someone who would be more reliable, and they had to wait for the community to recover.  Jonas was watched very carefully for any signs of faltering.

Another result of Rosemary’s release is a change in the rules for the Receiver of Memory in training.  When Jonas receives his rules, one of them says he cannot be released.  The Giver notes that this is a new rule.  The rule is designed to prevent memories from being returned to the community again.

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