by Lois Lowry
The Giver Suffering Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
6. Except for illness or injury unrelated to your training, do not apply for any medication. (9.32)
This rule makes it clear that suffering is essential to Jonas's job. In order to gain the wisdom that the memories have to offer, he first has to undergo physical pain.
Some afternoons The Giver sent him away without training. Jonas knew, on days when he arrived to find The Giver hunched over, rocking his body slightly back and forth, his face pale, that he would be sent away.
"Go," The Giver would tell him tensely. "I'm in pain today. Come back tomorrow." (13.79-80)
The Giver is in pain because of his awareness. Through the memories he holds, he knows there is suffering in the world – even without the mystical quality of the memories (that is, the way that they physically affect whoever holds them). It makes sense that The Giver would suffer for his knowledge.
Jonas entered the Annex room and realized immediately that it was a day when he would be sent away. The Giver was rigid in his chair, his face in his hands.
"I'll come back tomorrow, sir." He said quickly. Then he hesitated. "Unless maybe there's something I can do to help."
The Giver looked up at him, his face contorted with suffering. "Please," he gasped, "take some of the pain." (15.1-3)
Until this moment, The Giver has always sent Jonas away when he was in too much pain. It's interesting to note which memory in particular was too much to bear: warfare.