The Giver

by: Lois Lowry

Chapters 12–13

The Giver’s attitude toward science, combined with the mysterious way in which the failed Receiver’s memories returned to plague the community, confirms the dichotomy we noticed earlier between the mystical, religious nature of memory and the logical order of the community and of Sameness. It is possible that Lowry chose to associate memory with magic and mystery in order to give her readers a stronger sense of how strange and inexplicable memory is for the members of the community. Since they have no experience with emotion, pain, history, or love, these ideas must seem as strange and improbable to them as magical powers seem to us. In our own world, where we acknowledge the existence of emotions, we still have trouble explaining human desires and behavior with science. In Jonas’s world, the significance of these forces are almost totally ignored, and somebody who understands them and can communicate them is someone who truly defies logic, science, and everything in the known world.