What is the importance of memory in The Giver by Lois Lowry? 

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In Jonas's community, the people are relieved from carrying the burden of the past in order to spare them the pain associated with history. But in being so spared, they have lost connections to all of their history. Jonas has been tasked with receiving all of the memories that The Giver singularly holds—an important responsibility in the community and a high honor.

When Jonas receives his Assignment, he isn't even sure what he is supposed to be training to do. So when The Giver tells Jonas that he will be receiving memories, Jonas incorrectly assumes that he will be listening to stories of The Giver's life.

The Giver patiently tries to explain the idea of memory, which is beyond Jonas's realm of experience at this point:

"It's the memories of the whole world," he said with a sigh. "Before you, before me, before the previous Receiver, and generations before him."

Jonas frowned. "The whole world?" he asked. "I don't understand. Do you mean not just us? Not just the community? Do you mean...

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