intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
agony he perceived the word “fire” and felt flames licking at the torn bone and flesh.
"Agony" is from the Greek "agon" which means "struggle" and can be seen in the words "protagonist" and "antagonist." Usually, a protagonist is agonized because of a struggle with a specific antagonist. Here, Jonas is struggling with the pain of a memory of a broken leg. The antagonists that cause Jonas agony are not identifiable humans he can fight; rather, they are the world's memories of the past and his present community's attitudes and approaches towards life.
to move in a twisting or contorted motion,
Then, suddenly, he was in the Annex room again,
writhing on the bed.
brutal slice of pain was gone.
"Brutal" also means "resembling a brute or beast; showing lack of human sensibility"--this definition is the opposite of what the brutal pain does to Jonas: while it may temporarily reduce him to a screaming pile of flesh and bone, it also makes him more aware of what being human means and feels like. The Giver explains, “It gives us wisdom.”
recovery or preservation from loss or danger
There was always a daub of anesthetic ointment, or a pill; or in severe instances, an injection that brought complete and instantaneous
leave slowly and hesitantly
But this ache
incapable of being put up with
It was not
unendurable, as the pain on the hill had been.
in intense despair
The realization made him feel
desperately lonely, and he rubbed his throbbing leg.
leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
Again and again he dreamed of the anguish and the isolation on the
breaking of hard tissue such as bone
The agony of the
fractured leg began to seem no more than a mild discomfort as The Giver led Jonas firmly, little by little, into the deep and terrible suffering of the past.
provide physical relief, as from pain
It was not enough to
assuage the pain that Jonas was beginning, now, to know.
"Why?" Jonas asked him after he had received a torturous memory in which he had been neglected and unfed; the hunger had caused
excruciating spasms in his empty, distended stomach.
"Torturous" and "excruciating" are synonymous adjectives with different roots: "torturous" comes from the Latin "torquere" which means "to twist" (and can also be seen in "contorted"); "excruciating" comes from the Latin "cruciare" and "crux" which mean "to crucify on a cross"--this could suggest that the Receiver is a Christ-like figure, since both were chosen to take on the painful burdens of the larger community.
an onerous or difficult concern
"But then everyone would be
burdened and pained. They don’t want that. And that’s the real reason The Receiver is so vital to them, and so honored. They selected me—and you—to lift that
burden from themselves.”
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
Now it was
ominous. It meant, he knew, that nothing could be changed.
fixed and unmoving
The Giver was
rigid in his chair, his face in his hands.
twisted, especially as in pain or struggle
The Giver looked up at him, his face
contorted with suffering.
extreme distress of body or mind
“Put your hands on me,” he directed, aware that in such
anguish The Giver might need reminding.
prepare for something unpleasant or difficult
braced himself and entered the memory which was torturing The Giver.
dried out by heat or excessive exposure to sunlight
“Water,” the voice said in a
parched, croaking whisper.
the savage and excessive killing of many people
The colors of the
carnage were grotesquely bright: the crimson wetness on the rough and dusty fabric, the ripped shreds of grass, startlingly green, in the boy’s yellow hair.
"Grotesque" means "distorted and unnatural in shape or size" (often to a monstrous degree)--this is a fitting adjective for the colors of carnage, especially to a boy who is unused to seeing color and images of war.
cause to be unable to move
One of Jonas’s arms was
immobilized with pain, and he could see through his own torn sleeve something that looked like ragged flesh and splintery bone.
call upon in supplication
Finally, when the container was open, he extended his arm slowly across the blood-soaked earth, inch by inch, and held it to the lips of the boy. Water trickled into the
imploring mouth and down the grimy chin.
a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
Overwhelmed by pain, he lay there in the fearsome
stench for hours, listened to the men and animals die, and learned what warfare meant.
the state or situation of being alone
Although he had through the memories learned about the pain of loss and loneliness, now he gained, too, an understanding of
solitude and its joy.
spread or diffuse through
And his new, heightened feelings
permeated a greater realm than simply his sleep.
tremble convulsively, as from fear or excitement
Then they were all silent, standing awkwardly, and the only sound was the sound of Jonas’s
Jonas is shuddering because he is struggling not to cry. Having experienced war through a memory, he is distraught at the sight of children giggling while they pretend to kill and die. Although crying is often seen as weakness, Jonas shows courage when he walks into the center of the field, stands alone against the players, and displays an intense emotion that the others don't know how to respond to.
affected or marked by low spirits
“Me,” Jonas said in a
dejected voice. He was not looking forward to the end of the training, when he would become the new Receiver. It was clear to him what a terribly difficult and lonely life it was, despite the honor.
be unsure or weak
faltered and trailed off.
be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
insisted that I continue, that I not spare her.
impose something unpleasant
I couldn’t bring myself to
inflict physical pain on her.
overwhelm or overpower
I was so
devastated by my own grief at her loss, and my own feeling of failure, that I didn’t even try to help them through it.