by Lois Lowry
The Giver Suffering Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
As he continued to watch, the newchild, no longer crying, moved his arms and legs in a jerking motion. Then he went limp. His head fell to the side, his eyes half open. Then he was still.
With an odd, shocked feeling, Jonas recognized the gestures and posture and expression. They were familiar. He had seen them before. But he couldn't remember where. (19.45-46)
Jonas might not have even recognized death at all had he not seen it happen in a memory. This is how removed every citizen is from suffering and from any comprehension of mortality.
"You suggested, Jonas, that perhaps she wasn't brave enough? I don't know about bravery: what it is, what it means. I do know that I sat here numb with horror. Wretched with helplessness. And I listened as Rosemary told them she would prefer to inject herself.
"Then she did so. I didn't watch. I looked away." (19.55-56)
The Giver, for all his memories, for all the pain he's witnessed, still can't bring himself to watch Rosemary die. This experience is so much more painful for him because he loves Rosemary; the memories, however intense, are still impersonal.