Why does the Giver ask Jonas for forgiveness after transmitting a painful memory of war in chapter 15 in The Giver?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lois Lowery's novel, The Giver, Jonas was innocent and had no painful memories.  The Giver held all the memories of the society and those were the good as well as the bad memories.  With  each memory the Giver released into Jonas, his burden of the memories became lighter.  On the other hand, Jonas's memories became more burdensome. With each memory Jonas receives, he actually feels the joy or the pain. 

The Giver apologized to Jonas because he gave him so much of the terrible memory, so much pain, and in turn releived himself of the pain he has carried for so long.  The Giver was releived to lose that memory but felt guilty for releasing this pain into the young Jonas who had never know the pain of the memories of war, death, and destruction.  Up until this point in time,Jonas had only received pleasant and non-harmful memories.

"The memory continues for hours as Jonas lies in the field, overwhelmed with pain, as cannons are fired and people die."