Study Guide

The Giver Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

  • The next thing we hear, there's an impromptu holiday declared over the public speakers.
  • Jonas goes to find Asher.
  • Meanwhile it's been four weeks since Jonas stopped taking his "No more sexual urges!" pills. He's been having some pretty sexy dreams in the meantime, but we're spared the details, juicy or otherwise.
  • He's also started seeing color everywhere and all the time, too, instead of just for fleeting moments.
  • He realizes that he's feeling emotions more deeply than before, that for all their talk of "precision of language" the citizens of his community really don't know what they're talking about. He remembers when his sister said she was "angry." P-shaw—he knows that wasn't really anger.
  • The upside is, while he has felt all these horrible emotions in their true and deepest forms, he's also capable of feeling happiness to a greater degree. Like today.
  • Jonas finds Asher playing with some other kids. They're all running around pretending to shoot each other.
  • Jonas stops cold. He never before realized that this popular game was a game of war. Knowing what real war is like, he's less than interested in playing.
  • When Jonas begs his friends not to play the game anymore, Asher is angry. He's training to be Assistant Director of Recreation, after all—he's the one who should be the expert on games, not Jonas.
  • When Jonas tries to explain, Asher just apologizes, assuming that will end the argument.
  • And Jonas realizes that he's powerless to change anything.
  • At dinner that night, Lily chatters on about her day.
  • Gabe, who just started to learn how to walk, stumbles around the room saying "Gay!", which is the closest he can get to his own name.
  • It's almost December again, which means Lily is going to become a Nine and finally have her own bicycle.
  • Tomorrow, Jonas' Father says, the twin males will be born, and he will have to decide which one is sent Elsewhere.
  • Jonas wants to know if he actually takes the twin to Elsewhere, but his Father says no, he just picks one and performs a Ceremony of Release and then hands the kid off.
  • Lily wonders aloud: what would happen if the twin that was released went to another community, and both twins ended up with the same name, and then one day during a school visiting trip they got mixed up?
  • And , she says, what if we all have a twin in another community, and we just don't know it?
  • Lily's Father groans and sends her to bed. Kids these days and their silly ideas.

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