What were Jonas's doubts as he was receiving memories from The Giver?

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When Jonas learns that he will be Receiver of Memory, he is surprised.  He hears about the Capacity to See Beyond, which means that he has special powers. At first he is not sure, but then he sees the faces of the crowd change and realizes he does have it.  Does he have courage and wisdom too?

Jonas is concerned when he begins his training because he knows that he will experience pain.  He has heard that it is part of the training, but his community usually does not experience pain.  As soon as someone gets hurt he or she takes a medication which eliminates the pain immediately.  This will not be available to Jonas during his training.  Jonas knows he is supposed to be courageous, but he has doubts that he will be, at first.

Jonas is surprised when at first he feels no pain.  He eventually asks The Giver about the pain he has been expecting.

The man sighed. "I started you with memories of pleasure. My previous failure gave me the wisdom to do that." He took a few deep breaths. "Jonas," he said, "it will be painful. But it need not be painful yet."

"I'm brave. I really am." Jonas sat up a little straighter. (Ch. 11)

Jonas tells The Giver that he is brave, but he is not so sure at first.  When he receives his first memory of pain, he asks for medication, but can’t get any with his training.  Later, Jonas asks for painful memories when he realizes that The Giver is in pain, and wants to take some of it away.

Jonas does not just doubt himself, he begins to doubt his society.  As he receives more memories of things like love and sunshine, he wonders if his society has been doing the right thing in forcing everyone to be the same.  There is no attachment or love of any kind in Jonas’s world, and other wonderful things are missing.  There are no strong emotions.  Jonas stops taking his Stirrings pills, because he wants to feel more fully.

Jonas’s doubts about his community are realized when he sees his father murder the newborn twin.  The baby was alive, and then it wasn’t.  Jonas knows what death is, because he has seen it in the memories.  He can’t believe that his father would callously murder a newborn.  The Giver tells Jonas they know nothing, but things are never the same for him after that.

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The Giver

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