The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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

The Giver asks Jonas for forgiveness after transmitting a painful memory of war in chapter 15 of The Giver because he sees the pain that it causes the young man. He realizes that it was far too soon in the process of imparting the community's memories with him to have shared that particularly painful one with the innocent boy.

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The Giver asks Jonas for forgiveness after transmitting a painful memory of war in chapter 15 because the memory is too difficult for him to bear. Moreover, war is one of the horrors that Jonas’s society has eradicated by controlling people in The Giver. Jonas therefore has no framework to even understand why people would harm one another this way.

The reader sees most of the rules and controls in Jonas’s society as oppressive ones that eliminate individuality. Some changes, such as climate control or the elimination of colors, even imply that people sacrifice certain pleasures, such as the enjoyment of the different seasons when the leaves change colors or the first snowfall. In fact, because of their controls, people no longer even see colors at all. However, one positive outcome produced by the controls, strict adherence to the rules, and the goal to achieve “sameness” is that the society has eliminated war.

Jonas cannot even understand the concept of war when he first receives the...

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