The Giver

The isolated advisor

The Giver is another main character in the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. The old Receiver of Memory has been fulfilling a very important function in the community for a very long time, probably since his youth. He is the only one who can remember the past: 

There’s much more. There’s all that goes beyond—all that is Elsewhere—and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. (Chapter 10, 78%)

The old Receiver of Memory serves as counselor to the Committee of Elders. He stands out among the group of elders: 

The Committee of Elders was sitting together in a group; and the Chief Elder’s eyes were now on one who sat in the midst but seemed oddly separate from them. It was a man Jonas had never noticed before, a bearded man with pale eyes. He was watching Jonas intently. (Chapter 8, 29%) 

Jonas later highlights the Giver’s exceptional social position: "He was the Elder who had seemed separate from the others at the Ceremony, though he was dressed in the same special clothing that only Elders wore." (Chapter 8, 29%). The Giver is also responsible for other neighboring communities.

The Receiver of Memory lives isolated from other people: "Jonas had never even seen him, that he knew of; someone in a position of such importance lived and worked alone." (Chapter 2, 40%). The regulations forbid him¸ from talking about his knowledge, which is why he leads a lonely life . 

The Receiver of Memory lives alone in a room with shelves full of books and furniture that is different from the other standard furniture in the community. He once had a spouse who now lives with the Childless Adults (Chapter 13, 46%).

The old and tired Receiver

The Receiver of Memory watches over the happy, but also painful memories of the whole world (Chapter 10, 78%). He has a huge weight on him , which has made him age early because his task demands so much from him (Chapter 10, 56%). 

The receiver always seems exhausted. His face also has a melancholy and sad appearance: "The man was wrinkled, and his eyes, though piercing in their unusual lightness, seemed tired. The flesh around them was darkened into shadowed circles." (Chapter 10, 44%). 

Ten years ago, the community tried to find a successor for him, but after only five weeks of training, twelve-year-old Rosemary let herself be released, after she could not stand the mental strain that the transmission of the old Receiver's memories caused her. As a result, the community instituted a special rule: The Receiver of Memory may not apply for release until the next Receiver of Memory is fully trained (Chapter 18, 71%).

The old Receiver does not appear until chapter 10 of the novel. He wants to train Jonas as his successor and try to trans...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in