After school the next day, Jonas reports to the Annex of the House of the Old, where a desk attendant unlocks a door and respectfully directs Jonas to The Receiver's room. Jonas is surprised because no doors are ever locked. The attendant tells Jonas the locks are for privacy, which the Receiver needs to do his job.
The Receiver is allowed privacy, which is forbidden to all others, again highlighting his uniqueness.
The Receiver's quarters are more luxurious and spacious than any houses in the community. His bed has nicer fabric, and there are walls full of books. Other dwellings are only allowed a dictionary, a community information book, and the Book of Rules. Jonas can't imagine what those books contain.
The Receiver has access to knowledge forbidden to others. He is also allowed more beautiful and costly goods, which are prohibited to others in order to prevent jealousy and materialism.
The Receiver is old and grey, and tells Jonas that he is going to use his last strength to pass those memories onto Jonas. Jonas thinks this means the Receiver is going to tell his lifetime of memories to Jonas, but the Receiver corrects him: the memories he contains are all the memories of the entire world, passed down from Receiver to Receiver, and that he is going to transmit these memories to Jonas. He explains that these memories provide wisdom that helps the community make decisions about its future.
The Receiver's discussion with Jonas reveals that the community is founded not just on the idea of Sameness, but on the total elimination of all individuality. Even memories are forbidden. The community is stable and safe because it contains identical people in a uniform environment. Yet the price of safety and stability is knowledge and wisdom, which only the Receiver has.
The Receiver describes himself as weighed down by memories, like a sled traveling downhill but slowed by accumulating snow. Jonas fails to understand because he doesn't recognize the words "downhill," "sled," or "snow."
Jonas's lack of knowledge about hills, sleds, and snow shows how Sameness makes people unaware of the differences between everyday things.
The Receiver instructs Jonas to lie on his stomach. He walks over to the wall speaker, which looks like the speakers in every house, and turns it Off. Jonas is shocked. No other rooms in the community have speakers with Off buttons.
Community members all have speakers in their homes that they can't shut off, eliminating their privacy. And yet the Receiver can have privacy whenever he chooses.