Why does the Giver decide to stay behind? If he leaves what will happen to the people? How can empathy help suffering?In Lois Lowry's novel 'The Giver.'

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parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this dystopian community, there is no collective consciousness because all the memories (both good and bad) have been conferred to a chief representative officially called 'The Giver.'  The person in training appointed to receive this role upon the demise of the current Giver is known as the Receiver. This young lad named Jonas progressively discovers the true perverse nature of his Community, bereft of reference points in history or even in nature to make enlightened choices in both government and everyday life.  Jonas decides to flee the village. In this way, the memories which have been imparted to him will go back to the Community, which must deal with a level of consciousness, including suffering and pain, which has been lost over time.

The Giver decides to not leave with Jonas but to stay in order to help the villagers deal with the reappropriation of their past and heritage, including memories of war, death and physical and mental suffering.  By helping them "reconnect" with their past, he hopes to help them equip themselves for living in the present in a wholesome and responsible way.