The Giver

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The Giver Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After all the Assignments have been given out, the Chief Elder tells the crowd that she has skipped Jonas purposely. Jonas, she says, has been selected to be the next Receiver of Memory. The crowd gasps, and Jonas notices an elder who stands out from the crowd because of his pale eyes. He knows this man is the Receiver. The Chief Elder recalls how ten years ago the wrong selection was made for this position, and the Committee has been waiting for the right person ever since.
The Receiver's eyes are the same color as Jonas's, implying that the Receiver is also unique, and that there might be a genetic link between them. Gabriel too might be related to Jonas and the Receiver. The Chief Elder is careful not to go into detail about the failure of the previous Receiver trainee because it is improper to discuss uncomfortable topics.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Chief Elder says that Jonas has all the qualities necessary for Receiver, such as intelligence and courage, which he'll need in order to endure the physical pain he will experience. He has integrity, as he showed when he apologized for taking the apple. She says that in time, Jonas will gain wisdom. He also has something rare called the Capacity to See Beyond. Jonas is unsure what this Capacity to See Beyond is, but remembers the incident with the apple and notices that the faces in the crowd seem to change just like the apple. The crowd begins to chant Jonas's name. Jonas is proud, grateful, and nervous.
In a society based on the idea of Sameness, Jonas has been singled out as special, with his name chanted by the crowd. The Chief Elder explicitly connects the idea of experiencing pain with gaining wisdom. But Jonas alone will experience this pain, which means that no one in the rest of the community has wisdom. Instead, they all just follow the rules, without thinking.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon