The Giver: Chapter 12-15
Chapter 12, Summary
Jonas has another “seeing beyond” experience. He is with Fiona, and he sees her hair change in some way he doesn’t understand yet. Jonas describes these experiences with the apple and the hair to The Giver. The Giver explains to Jonas that he is beginning to see the color red. He further explains that the community gave up colors, sunshine, and differences and went to “Sameness.” He gives Jonas the memory of a rainbow.
Chapter 12, Analysis
Jonas’s experiences with seeing colors represent another leg into his journey to adulthood and away from the confinement of the community and its rules. The community conforms to the rules of the elders, its conformity represented by black and white. The community gave up colors and sunshine but gained control of other things. Jonas sees that adults have choices, and he starts to realize that he also has choices and that it is not always easy to make decisions without thinking about the consequences.
Chapter 13, Summary
Jonas becomes frustrated with the community’s choice to go to Sameness. He learns all the colors and sees them everywhere. The Giver explains that not giving the community its own choices, it protects them from making wrong choices. Jonas is angry with the community. Jonas tries to give Asher the ability to see colors, but it doesn’t work. The Giver transfers the memory of men killing elephants, and Jonas is very disturbed. Jonas later tells Lily that once there were real elephants, and she doesn’t believe him. He tries to transmit the memory of elephants to Lily, but she jerks away from his hand. Jonas finds out that The Giver had been married but that the Receiver of Memory cannot share any of his training or knowledge with his family. Jonas begins to see that his life will be lonely. The Giver also tells Jonas that if something happens to the Receiver, his memories return to the people in the community. Jonas asks The Giver what gives him such pain.
Chapter 14, Summary
The Giver gives Jonas a memory of pain, a broken leg. Jonas asks for medicine, but The Giver says no because he cannot have any medication for anything related to his training. The pain lingers after Jonas wakes up, but his must bear it on his own. Jonas is given many more painful memories, and he asks The Giver why they must experience these. The Giver tells him that it gives them wisdom. Jonas wants to think of a way to get the memories back for the community and talks to The Giver about it. Gabriel is still not sleeping through the night, so Jonas suggests to his parents that Gabriel stay in Jonas’s room at night. They agree. Jonas transfers a memory of a lake and a sailboat to Gabriel to help him sleep. He decides not to tell The Giver about what he had done.
Chapter 15, Summary
The Giver gives Jonas a painful memory of warfare. He sees horses suffering and lying on the ground, a boy his own age streaked with blood who suddenly dies right before Jonas's eyes, but before the boy dies, Jonas†gives the boy water to drink from his container.†Men†are crying out in pain, and Jonas himself is in so much pain, he awakens from the memory when he can not bear it any longer. The Giver asks Jonas to†forgive him†for sharing the memory with him.†
Chapters 13, 14, and 15, Analysis
Jonas lives two separate lives now. When he is with The Giver, he can talk about the memories and the community’s problems, but when he goes to his dwelling, he cannot share any of the things he’s learning with his family. This represents a challenging and frustrating time for Jonas in his journey toward adulthood. He wants to help his friends and family and tries to transfer some of his memories to them; he wants to share his newfound feelings, but he cannot. He is finding that becoming an adult involves having feelings of anger as well as happiness. He is torn between living a lonely life as the new Receiver of Memory and wanting to return to his family and friends. The more he goes into his journey, the more pain he experiences.