What was The Giver's idea on changing things in the community in The Giver?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Giver has entertained the thought of changing things in the community in the past, but has never been able to figure out how to do it, and so has given up on the idea.  When Jonas suggests, with youthful enthusiasm, that things should be different in the community, The Giver responds wryly, "How do you suggest we do that?  I've never been able to think of a way, and I'm supposed to be the one with all the wisdom".  Jonas and The Giver both know that the channel for change provided by the community, to apply for a change of rules, is pointless.  As The Giver observes,

"The decision (that the memories be kept from the people) was made long before my time or yours...before the previous Receiver, and...back and back and back". 

The Giver's reluctant acceptance of this refrain is an ominous sign that "nothing could be changed" (Chapter 14).

Jonas brings up the fact that, now that there are two of them, perhaps change can be brought about.  The Giver is at first incredulous, but after thinking about it for awhile, he says to Jonas,

"...having you here with me over the past year has made me realize that things must change.  For years I've felt that they should, but it seemed so hopeless.  Now for the first time I think there might be a way". 

Having decided that a change might be achieved, The Giver and Jonas embark on a plan that is dangerous and risky, but if it is successful, the people will be able to share the memories once more (Chapter 20).