The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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Why was transmitting the memory of snow so exhausting for the Giver?

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Once Jonas becomes the community's next Receiver of Memory, he begins his training sessions in the Annex, where the Giver proceeds to transmit significant memories of the past to him in private. During his first training session, the Giver transmits a fun, exhilarating memory of a sled ride to Jonas, who is surprised and excited by the unique experience. In Jonas's community, there are no hills or snow, so the memory is completely foreign to him. After the Giver transmits the memory to Jonas, he is exhausted and tired. The Giver explains to Jonas that he is exhausted because the memory was distant and he had to tug it forward from many generations back. Essentially, the older the memory, the more energy it takes for the Giver to retrieve and transfer it.

After the Giver explains that the memory is distant, he elaborates on the way Sameness completely altered their environment, landscape, and climate. The Giver tells Jonas that scientists invented climate control to prevent it from snowing, which would adversely affect the community's agricultural output. In addition to controlling the climate, hills were also eliminated because they made conveyance difficult. After listening to the Giver's explanation, Jonas begins wishing that they would still have hills and snow to enjoy. The Giver then proceeds to transfer the painful memory of sunburn to Jonas.

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