pierce with a pointed object; make a hole into
To his surprise, his father began very carefully to direct the needle into the top of the newchild’s forehead,
puncturing the place where the fragile skin pulsed.
a container that is used to put or keep things in
He turned aside and dropped the syringe into a waste
so frightened as to be unable to move
I do know that I sat here
numb with horror.
very unhappy; full of misery
Wretched with helplessness.
harsh or corrosive in tone
The Giver turned to him. “Well, there you are, Jonas. You were wondering about release,” he said in a
The chosen definition focuses on how The Giver's voice sounds to Jonas. But "bitter" also means "marked by strong resentment or cynicism" and "expressive of severe grief or regret"--these definitions could describe the feelings The Giver has, because his own daughter, unable to handle the pain of being chosen as a Receiver, was pushed to apply for release (without knowing exactly what it is).
come up to the surface of or rise
Jonas felt a ripping sensation inside himself, the feeling of terrible pain clawing its way forward to
emerge in a cry.
The description almost sounds as if Jonas were giving birth, but what's emerging from him is not a crying baby but a crying realization that everything he had always known about life in the community is wrong. This pushes him to make plans to start a new life in order to save lives and to force the community to emerge from their own ignorance of the truths.
imitate, especially for satirical effect
"I will take care of that, sir. I will take care of that, sir,” Jonas
mimicked in a cruel, sarcastic voice.
being effective without wasting time, effort, or expense
efficient at her work, your red-haired friend.
feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
The Giver gave a
rueful, anguished, empty laugh.
without question and beyond doubt
Jonas shook his head
emphatically. “No, Giver,” he said. “I want you to keep that, to have with you, when I’m gone.”
a humble request for help from someone in authority
He knew the answer even as he made the final
marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
It was terribly dangerous because some of the work crews were still about, but he moved stealthily and silently, staying in the shadows, making his way past the darkened dwellings and the empty Central Plaza, toward the river.
pronounce a punishment, as in a court of law
He thought of the rules he had broken so far: enough that if he were caught, now, he would be
"Condemn" also means "declare or judge unfit for use or habitation"--although this often applies to buildings, it could apply to Jonas, since a useless member of the community would receive condemnation ("strong disapproval") before being condemned to a sentence of release.
lacking spirit or liveliness
Before he had left the dwelling, he had laid his hands firmly on Gabe’s back and transmitted to him the most soothing memory he could: a slow- swinging hammock under palm trees on an island someplace, at evening, with a rhythmic sound of
languid water lapping hypnotically against a beach nearby.
someone who is sought by law officers
fugitives slept through the first dangerous day.
"Fugitive" also means "someone who flees from a situation that is uncongenial" ("very unfavorable to life or growth")--both definitions fit, since the community sends search planes after the lawbreakers, who are running towards an Elsewhere that would not have Receivers and releases.
added to or made greater in amount or number or strength
The journey had become automatic: the sleep by day, hidden in underbrush and trees; the finding of water; the careful division of scraps of food,
augmented by what he could find in the fields.
with strained or eager attention
But he was alert at night, too, on the road, always listening
intently for the sound of the engines.
carefully observant or attentive
As he pedaled through the nights, through isolated landscape now, with the communities far behind and no sign of human habitation around him or ahead, he was constantly
vigilant, looking for the next nearest hiding place should the sound of engines come.
marked by great carelessness
They came less often, and flew, when they did come, less slowly, as if the search had become
haphazard and no longer hopeful.
a source of danger
But now there were new fears; the unfamiliar landscape held hidden, unknown
relentless of his new fears was that they would starve.
deficient in amount or quality or extent
They finished the
meager store of potatoes and carrots they had saved from the last agricultural area, and now they were always hungry.
wear off or die down
But when the memory glimpses
subsided, he was left with the gnawing, painful emptiness.
desire strongly or persistently
Once he had
yearned for choice. Then, when he had had a choice, he had made the wrong one: the choice to leave.
lacking strength or vigor
Gabriel moved feebly against him and whimpered briefly into the silence that surrounded them.
make less visible or unclear
But now the rapidly deepening snow
obscured the narrow road and made the ride impossible.
weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy
Warming himself ever so briefly had shaken away the
lethargy and resignation and restored his will to survive.
"Resignation" means "the act of giving up" or "acceptance of despair"--it is an emotional obstacle that is harder to overcome than physical lethargy, but Jonas, with the help of his warm memories and the reminder that Gabe is depending on him, finds the courage and strength to shake off both.
be a hindrance or obstacle to
But the hill was treacherously steep; he was
impeded by the snow and his own lack of strength.
walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
The top of the hill seemed so far away, and he did not know what lay beyond. But there was nothing left to do but continue. He
a depression scratched or carved into a surface
The runners sliced through the snow and the wind whipped at his face as they sped in a straight line through an
incision that seemed to lead to the final destination, the place that he had always felt was waiting, the Elsewhere that held their future and their past.