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Chapter 13 Summary

Jonas has begun to see colors, though he just as often sees the Sameness. Still, the Giver assures him, he will eventually be able to see color permanently. Jonas balks at the idea that people are not allowed to see color because it is not fair. When the Giver asks Jonas to explain what is not fair, Jonas struggles to explain but eventually settles on the notion of choice. People should be allowed to choose what color shirt they wear in the morning. At home, Gabriel should be allowed to choose his comfort object. However, what if people were allowed to choose their mates—or, even more outrageously, their jobs? Choosing a shirt is harmless enough, but Jonas quickly realizes that there is a great danger in incorrect choices. People need to be protected.

However, in his personal life, Jonas has begun to feel greater temptation to share his learning with others, though he is forbidden from doing so. He invites Asher to examine flowers, but his long-time friend sees nothing other than the same flowers he always sees. After receiving a magnificent memory of a strange landscape and the roar of an elephant, Jonas attempts to explain to Lily that her comfort object, an elephant, actually existed once. He tries to transmit the memory to Lily, but she complains that he is hurting her and scoffs at his suggestion that elephants once existed.

One day, Jonas asks the Giver whether he ever had a spouse, which is a very rude question even by their standards. The Giver explains that he did once have a spouse and that she now lives with the Childless Adults who are not part of a family unit. The Giver explains that the rules that prohibit the Receiver of Memory from sharing his learning with others also apply to spouses. Although Jonas can apply for a spouse, it is a difficult...

(The entire section is 474 words.)