The Importance of Memory
This story developed from the author’s understanding of the importance of memory, an understanding which came from her observation of someone who no longer had their memory. When one has no memory they cannot remember painful episodes in their life. Some people with memories of horrors, losing those memories can seem to be a blessing. But, if they also cannot recall the emotions
associated with their good relationships with others, it is a mixed blessing. The author appears to believe that having all memories, good and bad, is better than having no memories. This book presents a convincing argument for the importance of memory.
Memory is important for preventing repetition of mistakes. That is where the Receivers give their community valuable help. Without the Receivers, the community would have wanted to increase the population. But, because the Giver/Receiver had memories of famine and hunger, they avoided suffering through famine and hunger again.
Jonas learns to love through memories. Those in the community who do not have memories are unable to experience love. This has enormous importance.
The Importance of the Individual
What Jonas accomplishes shows what an individual can do. He manages to not only change his life and the lives of Gabriel and the Giver, but also the lives of everyone in the community by making it possible for the memories to go to the community. Before the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas was one of a group of Elevens who were all living according to the rules of the community. | Your browser does not support the IFRAME tag. |
After the Ceremony of Twelve, when he became the new Receiver, and after he began receiving the memories, he developed into an individual with a life separate from that of the community. At that point, he was able to make a difference in the life of everyone in the community. Soon, now that they are receiving memories, they will also be able to act