The Giver Memories

What memories did the Giver transmit to Jonas in The Giver?

Jonas is the next Receiver of Memory, so the Giver intends to pass on all of his memories to Jonas. During their time together, the Giver passes on many memories. Some ideas are simple, like that of sunshine, and others are painful, like the experience of warfare. Jonas runs away before the Giver can transfer all his memories.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Shortly after Jonas is selected to be the community's next Receiver of Memory, he travels to the Annex, where he begins his training sessions with the Giver. During his first training session, the Giver has Jonas remove his shirt and lie down while he transmits the pleasant memory of sled-riding down a hill on a snowy day. The Giver is exhausted by transmitting such a distant memory, but Jonas finds the experience exhilarating. The second memory the Giver transmits to Jonas is the memory of sunshine, which is warm and soothing. Before their session ends, the Giver also transmits the painful memory of sunburn.

The next day, Jonas returns to the Annex, the Giver transmits the same memory of sled-riding, and Jonas notices that the sled is red. The Giver then shares the memory of a rainbow with Jonas so that he will recognize all the colors. The Giver also transmits the memories of poachers killing an elephant and Jonas breaking his leg during a sled-riding accident. Jonas also receives memories of starvation and war. During the memory of war, Jonas is incapacitated on a bloody battlefield, where he witnesses a young man dying next to him. Despite the painful memories, the Giver also transmits peaceful memories of sailboats on tranquil ocean waters, which Jonas transmits to Gabriel in order to settle him down at night. Jonas also receives the pleasant memories of a family celebrating Christmas together and a child celebrating his birthday. The Giver also transmits the experience of visiting a museum and the feeling of riding a horse to Jonas. Jonas also receives the memory of camping by himself in the wilderness and experiences the joy of solitude.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Jonas gets a memory of snow, sunshine, a sunburn, a red sled, a rainbow, hunting elephants, a sled crash, being burned, hunger, ocean, a battlefield, riding a horse, a birthday party, Christmas morning, and many others.

When Jonas first meets The Giver, he explains to the boy where the memories come from.

"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." (ch 10, p. 77)

The first memory Jonas receives from The Giver is the memory of snow in chapter 10.

Now, too, he could feel cold air swirling around his entire body. He felt it blow against his hands where they lay at his sides, and over his back. (ch 11, p. 80)

The old man explains that there is no longer snow in the community because of...

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edailing | Student

This is a very broad question and I would be of better help if I knew whether you meant overall, in the beginning of his training, or in a certain chapter. Jonas is training to become the new Receiver of Memory, with this comes the transmission of all memories "The Giver" has from before Sameness began in their community. We know that The Giver starts off by giving Jonas simple memories of snow and sledding and sunshine. He shows Jonas what pain can mean using memories such as getting a sunburn. Lois Lowry doesn't specify every single memory Jonas is given but we know that Jonas experiences war, starvation, sailing, music, courage, strength, etc. through the explicit mentioning of them in the novel but it is difficult to infer every single memory he actually transmitted to Jonas throughout the novel aside from the ones the author gave to us explicitly.

battlehard101 | Student

The specific number isn't specified, but there a years worth, two to four per day, and the giver said himself that Jonas had a large compilation.

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