Study Guide

The Giver Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

  • Jonas starts to feel that he's getting very close to Elsewhere. But he also starts to feel that he'll probably die before he gets there.
  • Confirming the latter suspicion, it starts to snow. Jonas wraps the baby inside his jacket to keep him warm.
  • He gets to a steep hill and, in the increasing snow, finds that he can pedal no further. He let's the bike fall to the ground and begins to walk.
  • Then Jonas has the idea of using a memory to help—except he's not sure that, this far from the community, he still has the ability to recall a memory or to transmit it to Gabriel.
  • But when he starts to think about sunshine, it works. Jonas tries to transfer the warmth he feels to Gabriel.
  • That works for about thirty seconds or so before they're both freezing again. As he continues to trudge up the hill, he musters up all the memories he has of warmth and sunshine.
  • As Jonas gets closer and closer to the top of the hill, he realizes that he's completely freezing, exhausted, and going numb. And yet, he feels happy. Joyous even. He's flooded with memories of Fiona, Asher, his family, and The Giver.
  • He whispers to Gabe that they're almost to the top. He knows, he says, because he remembers it. This is a memory of his own.
  • And then, Jonas finds the sled from his first memory, waiting for him at the top of the hill. He settles on to it, pulls Gabriel close to him, and feels hopeful as he begins to surge down the other side of the hill.
  • Jonas struggles to stay conscious as they fly downwards. He knows that Elsewhere is waiting for him at the bottom of the hill.
  • Looking ahead, Jonas can see lights and colors. He knows he's going to a place of love.
  • Then, Jonas hears music for the first time. He knows they are others waiting for him.
  • Jonas thinks for a moment that he hears music coming from behind him, too, back from where he came. "But perhaps it was only an echo."

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