What is Jonas's consciousness while he recived the memory in The Giver?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas receives the memories in a suggestive state, kind of like hypnosis.  He is conscience, but it is more like dreaming.  Jonas almost never dreams real dreams, but he is susceptible to receiving the memories because he has the Capacity to See Beyond.

Unlike a dream, Jonas is partly aware of his other self.  He is essentially splitting his consciousness.  It is like a light hypnotic state.

One part of his consciousness knew that he was still lying there, on the bed, in the Annex room.  Yet another, separate part of his being was upright now, … seated on a flat, hard surface. (ch 11, p. 81)

Another reason receiving memories is like a hypnotic state is that Jonas remembers what happens afterward.  However pain caused in the memory lingers.

Jonas asked him after he had received a torturous memory in which he had been neglected and unfed; the hunger had caused excruciating spasms in his empty, distended stomach. He lay on the bed, aching. (ch 15, pp. 110-111)

The Giver explains that the memories of pain are needed in order to make wise choices for the community.  Since they don’t suffer pain, like hunger pains, they cannot make these choices.  For these reasons Jonas must feel the pain, even after the memory is over.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition. 

corinnamt | Student

I'm not sure I quite understand the question. However, while he is receiving his first memory from The Giver, Jonas is simultaneously conscious of being in the bedroom, as well as being in a sled on the snow. So, in a sense, he could be said to be in a state of split-consciousness, between reality and something akin to a dream.