Study Guide

The Giver Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

  • After that, Jonas doesn't want to go back to the Annex. He just wants a normal life like all of his friends.
  • The Giver, trying to make up for the whole warfare thing, transmits some really good memories to Jonas: a birthday party, for instance, which shows Jonas how nice it is to be singled out as an individual, instead of always the same as everyone else.
  • When he gets to experience riding a horse, Jonas sees how wonderful the bond between man and animal can be. When he sits beside a campfire in the dark, he knows at last the joy of solitude.
  • Jonas asks The Giver what his favorite memory is, adding that he doesn't have to give it away yet.
  • The old man, however, is happy to give away the memory. He transmits to Jonas the scene of Christmas morning.
  • Afterwards, he asks Jonas what he saw. Jonas talks about family, and has to ask the word for "grandparents," which he didn't know.
  • For the first time, Jonas comprehends that his parents have parents. He thinks about the way it works in his community, the system in place for dealing with the elderly, which he still thinks works pretty well.
  • Still, there was a strong emotion in the Christmas scene that he felt but could not name. He struggles for a bit, and finally The Giver tells him that it was love.
  • Jonas, embarrassed, expresses a wish for love in his own life. He wishes The Giver could be his grandfather. He wishes he could experience what he felt in the memory.
  • Although, he concedes, he recognizes that that is a very "dangerous" way to live.
  • When The Giver asks him to explain, however, all Jonas can come up with is a comment on the fire that was burning in the room, and the way that flames are dangerous. Although he did like the warmth…
  • Later, back at home, Jonas hesitantly asks his parents if they love him.
  • They're a bit flustered, and chuckling, they reprimand him to pay attention to "precision of language."
  • Jonas is confused.
  • His Father explains that such a word has become obsolete, meaningless even.
  • This confuses him further, since the emotion he felt of love was far from meaningless.
  • When they ask him if he understands what they mean, he says yes—which is his first lie to his parents.
  • That night, Gabriel's crib is still in Jonas' room. Since his parents are pleased that Jonas can get the baby to sleep through the night, they have decided to leave the crib there.
  • In the middle of the night, Jonas whispers to Gabriel about colors and memories and grandparents and love, telling him that things could be different than they are.
  • The next morning, Jonas throws away his pill (to stop the Stirrings, remember?).

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