"The Giver" by Lois Lowry, Chapters 9–13

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a regimented community that is free from pain and suffering — but also free from joy, independence, and even color. When he is appointed the community's Receiver of Memory, Jonas begins to question everything he has been taught.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–4, Chapters 5–8, Chapters 9–13, Chapters 14–18, Chapters 19–23

Here are links to our lists for the other novels in The Giver Quartet: Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. exempt
    grant relief from a rule or requirement to
    From this moment you are exempted from rules governing rudeness.
  2. prohibited
    forbidden by law
    From this moment you are prohibited from dream-telling.
  3. dismayed
    struck with fear, dread, or consternation
    But he was a little dismayed that his schedule left no time, apparently, for recreation.
    Jonas might be feeling dread or consternation ("fear resulting from the awareness of danger") about his upcoming training as a Receiver, especially since the Chief Elder had warned him about the indescribable pain. But these feelings are not the same as the discouraging sense of disappointment at discovering that his new schedule would leave him no time to play.
  4. compel
    force somebody to do something
    Reading it again, however, he realized that it didn’t compel him to be rude; it simply allowed him the option.
  5. restriction
    an act of limiting
    The restriction of medication unnerved him.
  6. comprehension
    an ability to understand the meaning of something
    Jonas swallowed hard, trying without success to imagine what such pain might be like, with no medication at all. But it was beyond his comprehension.
  7. conceivably
    within the realm of possibility
    Now, empowered to ask questions of utmost rudeness—and promised answers—he could, conceivably (though it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps: “Do you lie?”
  8. intricate
    having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
    The bed, in an alcove at the far end of the room, was draped with a splendid cloth embroidered over its entire surface with intricate designs.
    The intricate designs on the cloth represent the complex memories that Jonas will receive; the designs were embroidered into the cloth with a needle, which parallels the painstaking transfers of the memories through the Receiver's hands into Jonas's body and mind. Just as the cloth contains the intricacies for the functional bed underneath, the Receiver holds the complex memories so that the rest of the community can work and sleep more easily.
  9. conspicuous
    obvious to the eye or mind
    But the most conspicuous difference was the books.
  10. diminish
    decrease in size, extent, or range
    The failure of the previous selection was ten years ago, and my energy is starting to diminish.
  11. successor
    a person who inherits some title or office
    But that does not mean I am perfect, and when I tried before to train a successor, I failed.
    The phrase "I failed" turns the word "successor" into a pun ("success" and "successor" come from the same Latin words "sub" which means "after" and "cedere" which means "to go"). The Giver was unsuccessful in training his successor, who's supposed to come after him and replace him as the Receiver. Even though one can inherit the trait of light eyes that enables perception and reception, s/he must be chosen and trained for the title and office of Receiver.
  12. transmit
    transfer to another
    “Simply stated,” he said, “although it’s not really simple at all, my job is to transmit to you all the memories I have within me.
  13. deft
    skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
    This one had a switch, which the man deftly snapped to the end that said OFF.
  14. disgrace
    bring shame or dishonor upon
    The room was absolutely silent, and for a moment Jonas feared that he might disgrace himself now, on the first day of his training, by falling asleep.
  15. torrent
    an overwhelming number or amount
    He could see a bright, whirling torrent of crystals in the air around him, and he could see them gather on the backs of his hands, like cold fur.
  16. exhilarating
    making lively and joyful
    The snow was piled now around it, and he pushed with his body, moving it forward, not wanting the exhilarating ride to end.
  17. tentative
    hesitant or lacking confidence; unsettled in mind or opinion
    Tentatively he opened his eyes—not his snow-hill-sled eyes, for they had been open throughout the strange ride.
  18. obsolete
    no longer in use
    It wasn’t a practical thing, so it became obsolete when we went to Sameness.
  19. perceive
    become aware of through the senses
    You should be able to perceive the name without being told.
    Almost everyone in the community has dark eyes, which represent their inability to see beyond the present. But Jonas, Gabe, and the Giver all have different, lighter eyes, which enable them to perceive and receive the world in all its forms and colors throughout history.
  20. quizzically
    in a questioning manner
    “The Chief Elder told me—she told everyone—and you told me, too, that it would be painful. So I was a little scared. But it didn’t hurt at all. I really enjoyed it.” He looked quizzically at the old man.
  21. weary
    physically and mentally fatigued
    He seemed terribly weary.
  22. admonition
    cautionary advice about something imminent
    He was very aware of his own admonition not to discuss his training.
  23. fleeting
    lasting for a markedly brief time
    This time it was not a fleeting impression. This time the sled had—and continued to have, as he blinked, and stared at it again—that same mysterious quality that the apple had had so briefly.
  24. wry
    humorously sarcastic or mocking
    Then he smiled wryly. “You’ve come very quickly to that conclusion,” he said. “It took me many years. Maybe your wisdom will come much more quickly than mine.”
  25. frustration
    the feeling of being thwarted in attaining your goals
    But when the conversation turned to other things, Jonas was left, still, with a feeling of frustration that he didn’t understand.
  26. irrational
    not consistent with or using reason
    He found that he was often angry, now: irrationally angry at his groupmates, that they were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on.
  27. astonishing
    so surprisingly impressive as to stun or overwhelm
    Jonas glanced around at the astonishing array of volumes. From time to time, now, he could see their colors.
  28. assimilate
    take up mentally
    “They really suffered for a while. Finally it subsided as the memories were assimilated. But it certainly made them aware of how they need a Receiver to contain all that pain. And knowledge."
    "Assimilate" also means "make alike" or "become like one's environment" (Latin "similis" means "like"), which would be a desirable action in a community that "went to Sameness." The Giver is not exactly sure what happened to the memories when they were released, and he doesn't explain how they got assimilated. They couldn't go back to him, so they could have somehow just slowly blended into space and into the people's minds so that they were no longer shockingly different images and emotions.
  29. embedded
    enclosed firmly in a surrounding mass
    He watched the landscape for glimpses of the green that he knew was embedded in the shrubbery; when it came flickering into his consciousness, he focused upon it, keeping it there, darkening it, holding it in his vision as long as possible until his head hurt and he let it fade away.
  30. eventually
    after an unspecified period of time or a long delay
    "Lie down," he said. "It’s time, I suppose. I can’t shield you forever. You’ll have to take it all on eventually."

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