The Giver Chapter 18 Summary & Quotes

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In chapter eighteen of the Lois Lowry novel, 'The Giver,' Jonas becomes curious about release. In this lesson, we will learn more about the chapter as Jonas discovers the reason for rules about release.

What Happened Ten Years Ago?

Jonas has been chosen by the community to receive all of the memories from the past that have long been suppressed. On his next visit to the Giver, Jonas asks questions about release and about the girl who had been selected as the Receiver ten years earlier. In this lesson, we will learn more about chapter 18 in the Lois Lowry novel, The Giver.


At the dinner table the night before, Jonas' father had divulged that he would soon be making the decision which newborn identical twin would stay in the community and which would be released. When Jonas sees the Giver, he vaguely asks him for his thoughts on release.

  • ''I guess I do think about it occasionally,'' The Giver said. ''I think about my own release when I'm in an awful lot of pain. I wish I could put in a request for it, sometimes. But I'm not permitted to do that until the new Receiver is trained.''

Being unable to ask for release is also in Jonas' rules; however, it was not until a failure in the selection and training of a new Receiver that rules were created.


Jonas asked about the female Receiver that had been selected ten years before. The community is no longer allowed to use her name, but the Giver tells Jonas that her name was Rosemary. The Giver loved Rosemary as he loves Jonas. After five weeks, the Giver began giving Rosemary some difficult memories.

  • ''…I gave her loneliness. And I gave her loss. I transferred a memory of a child taken from its parents. That was the first one. She appeared stunned at its end.'' (Giver)

While he tried to balance out the negative emotions with happy ones, Rosemary could not take the misery. She asked for release.

A Devastated Community

Jonas is confused because the Receiver is not allowed to request release, but that was not the case during Rosemary's time. All of the memories that had been shared with Rosemary over the five weeks of her training were released into the community, since memories are never lost.

  • ''Rosemary had only those five weeks' worth, and most of them were good ones. But there were those few terrible memories, the ones that had overwhelmed her. For a while they overwhelmed the community. All those feelings! They'd never experienced that before.'' (Giver)

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