The Giver: Chapter 7-11

Chapter 7, Summary


Assignments are given to the twelves, namely Jonas and Asher and Fiona, in this chapter. This is the most important part of the ceremony because the young people are given their assignments that will carry them through the rest of their lives. Asher is given the assignment of Director of Recreation. Next, Fiona is given her assignment as Caretaker of the Old. But the Director skips Jonas and goes on to the person next to him. Jonas becomes very nervous, apprehensive, and bewildered as the ceremony continues, and he is not called. He feels he had done something wrong.


Chapter 8, Summary


At the beginning of the chapter, Jonas is feeling humiliation and terror. But the citizens of the community are amazed and proud when the director announces that Jonas is to be the new Receiver of Memory, the most honored job in the community. She tells Jonas that he will experience physical pain and that he has the capacity to see beyond. Jonas is bewildered at his assignment, and he then remembers his experience with the apple and wonders if this is what the director is referring to. Jonas is standing on the stage, and the members of the community begin to say his name repeatedly, louder and louder. Jonas begins to feel pride as well as fear.


Chapter 9, Summary


Jonas reads the rules for his new assignment and feels apprehension and fear. He questions every rule and considers its relevance to his life as he has known it thus far. The rule that he finds very surprising and hard to believe is the rule that says he can lie. He wonders if his parents have ever lied.


Chapters 7, 8, and 9, Analysis


Jonas’s maturation and the rules of the community continue to present challenges and rewards for him. Members of the community do not choose what they want to do in life. This creates frustration in the reader. Feelings of dread and apprehension also build up in Jonas as he is skipped over during the Ceremony of Twelves, furthering the whole mystery of the novel at this point. Then Jonas finds out that his Assignment, although considered the most honored in the community, will be filled with physical pain for him. Life is full of painful experiences, and the author reflects this in the novel through Jonas’s experiences in his growing up in this community.


The apple again appears as a sign of mystery but is given new hope for Jonas through his new Assignment. Jonas is learning discernment and pride; he is growing up.


Chapter 10, Summary


Jonas meets the present Receiver of Memory, an old man, on his first day of training. Jonas notices hundreds of books lining the walls, which is significant because the only books that the members of the community are allowed to read are the Book of Rules. Jonas finds out that he is to receive the memories of the whole world from the Receiver of Memory, and that some of them will be painful. The old man tells Jonas that wisdom will come to him as he takes in all the memories. The Receiver begins to give Jonas his first memory of snow.


Chapter 11, Summary


The old man transfers Jonas’s first memory: the memory of snow, a sled ride, and coldness. Jonas loves the experience. To receive memories, Jonas lies face down on the bed, and the old man places his hand on Jonas’s back and then transfers memory. Jonas is given the memory of sunshine. Jonas finds out about Sameness, when the community no longer had sunshine and snow. The old man also gives Jonas a painful memory, sunburn. Jonas asks the old man his name, and he says, “Call me The Giver” (87).


Chapters 10 and 11, Analysis


As Jonas is introduced to the memories of the world and hundreds of books along the wall of The Giver’s room where Jonas goes for training for his new assignment, he travels deeper and deeper into his journey toward adulthood. These memories and the books represent this journey, full of pain, joy, and mystery that Jonas soon discovers. With this pain and joy comes wisdom and power that Jonas uses to grow away from the community, away from the rules that have kept him and his family from experiencing emotions and feelings. One could compare the community and Elsewhere with that of the story in the Bible of the Garden of Eden: the apple leading to temptation, leading to the power of knowledge gained about the outside world (Elsewhere). Here Jonas is the one who partakes of this knowledge and will soon use it to gain freedom for the community.