The Giver Chapters 13 - 16 Summary

In chapter thirteen Jonas bemoans the fact that the community has taken away colors. He likes the different colors, and he thinks he would enjoy having choices in clothing, for example. However, the Giver points out that making choices means people could make wrong ones in decisions such as jobs or spouses. Jonas agrees that it's safer to take away the choices. The Giver then shares a memory where Jonas witnesses elephants being shot with guns. He tries to tell Lily that her comfort object actually existed long ago, but she doesn't believe him. Jonas even attempts to pass on memories to other people, such as Asher, but it doesn't work.


Sometimes the Giver sends Jonas away instead of training him because the Giver is in too much pain. One day Jonas asks the Giver to share some of that pain with him, so the Giver chooses a painful memory to share.


The painful memory that the Giver shares begins on the sled once again, but this time Jonas falls off and badly hurts his leg, causing him to bleed. He cries out and the pain stays with him even after he opens his eyes. He asks for pain medication but receives none, and he can't tell his parents about it when they ask what's wrong. From then on, Jonas always receives painful memories along with pleasant ones to end each day. The Giver tells him he must have memories, such as those of extreme hunger, to help advise the elders. Once the Giver was asked whether they should allow birthmothers to each have four children to help increase the number or laborers, but the Giver advised against it because he didn't want anyone to experience hunger. Jonas wishes they could spread the burden of painful memories throughout the population, but the Giver says that's not what the community wants. At home Jonas's father mentions that a birthmother is due to have twins, and it will be his turn to decide which one is released. Jonas asks if Gabriel can sleep in his room, so he can help comfort him in the night. When he does, Jonas accidentally passes on a pleasant memory to Gabriel, which helps lull him back to sleep. The next time Gabe wakes up, Jonas shares another peaceful memory. He worries that he shouldn't be giving away his memories, but he decides not to tell the Giver about it.


In chapter fifteen Jonas enters and sees that the Giver is in pain. He thinks that he will be sent away, but then Jonas decides to offer to help by relieving some of the pain. The Giver gives Jonas a terrible memory of war with boys asking for water, in great pain, and dying all around him. When Jonas opens his eyes, the Giver apologizes for having to share such horror with him.


Chapter sixteen has Jonas receiving many happy memories to make up for the painful ones. Jonas learns about grandparents and the true meaning of the word love. He goes home and asks his parents if they love him, and they laugh. They tell him to use more precise language because that word has ceased to have any real meaning. Gabriel continues to do well when he sleeps with Jonas, but when they take him away, he cries. He has two more months until the next ceremony to improve and be given to a family. Jonas whispers to Gabriel about love and the way things he used to be. Then Jonas makes the decision to stop taking his morning pills. Somehow he knows that they are connected to the concept of love.




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