The Giver


Chapters 10 and 11

Summary: Chapters 10 and 11

For his first day of training, Jonas goes to the Annex of the House of the Old. He is allowed into the Receiver’s room; the door is locked for privacy, which is strange to Jonas. No one else in the community ever locks his or her doors. The Receiver has many books that reach beyond the reference books common to every household. Jonas then meets the Receiver of Memory, who tells him that he will have to muster all of his remaining strength in order to train the boy. The Receiver tells him that he will need to relay all of his past memories to Jonas. At first, Jonas does not understand the concept of receiving the memories. He thinks that he will just be learning memories from the Receiver’s childhood, and Jonas wonders why he can’t just learn those in his spare time—thus he would have time to have a “normal” job in the community like his peers do. However, the Receiver tells him that he must transmit the memories of the entire world; the current Receiver must go through the memories of all the Receivers who came before him, and Jonas must learn these before the current Receiver is released. The gravity of this job soon begins to affect Jonas’ perception of the work; he must take these memories so that he can bring wisdom to the community and prepare the community for its future. The Receiver tells Jonas that all of the memories weigh on him heavily. The Receiver uses the metaphor of a sled and snow to convey this to Jonas; however, Jonas does not fully understand.

            Because Jonas has never seen snow, the Receiver makes the decision to give Jonas the memory of snow. Jonas takes off his tunic and places himself face-down on the bed. The Receiver turns off the speaker; in the community, the Receiver is the only one allowed to perform this action. He puts his hands on Jonas’ bare back, and Jonas feels cold. He then feels snowflakes touch his skin. He experiences the sensation of riding a sled downhill. Jonas has...

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Essays About The Giver