The Giver (The Giver, Book 1)

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At the start of the book, Jonas described his feelings of apprehension towards his unknown Assignment during his last days as an Eleven within the Community. He went through typical daily rituals at his dwelling, such as emotional consultation and dream-telling. He was reassured by his parents and resumed his volunteer hours next day at the House of the Old, with close friends Fiona and Asher. Around this period, Jonas began to experience the Stirrings ; adolescent physical urges that the Community discouraged by issuing mandatory pills that blocked depth of emotion.

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He is given the pills by his mother and takes them from then on. It was also during this time that his family unit began to participate in the nurturing process of a troubled newchild, Gabriel, nicknamed Gabe, at his father's behest. Jonas noted that he and Gabriel both shared the same, differentiating trait of pale eyes. This separated him from his peers due to his isolated conditions and mystery surrounding his training, although his family regarded it as a great honor. Part of his training conditions were strict rules of confidentially, exemption from rudeness and dream-telling rituals, withdrawal of training-related medication, and being granted the ability to lie.

Jonas soon began training with the current Receiver in the Annex behind the House of Old after school.

by Lois Lowry

He was given memories past generations, both pleasant and painful. Gradually, these included experiences of snow, sunshine, rainbows, and love, as well as war, famine and death. He developed an acquired wisdom, as well as a disdain for his own Community, realizing that no one in his life or family truly feels real emotion.

the giver chapter 1

Jonas also grew closer to Gabriel, the newchild with pale eyes, and comforted him at night with his own memories. He also became incredibly curious about Elsewhere, and asked the Receiver, now called the Giver, about life beyond. However, the Giver soon revealed a Community custom, Release , as a process of euthanasia instead of letting people into Elsewhere, as Jonas previously thought.

Releasing is revealed to be performed on individuals such as twins, criminal offenders, and the Old. The Giver's daughter and previous Receiver, Rosemary , was willfully released after she grew suicidal upon receiving painful memories of of the past. Jonas was distraught, and both he at the Giver came to the realization that the Community can't continue without their memories. They devise a plan where Jonas will escape to Elsewhere, given food, supplies, and strengthening memories to sustain him, and free the Community from sameness by restoring their memories upon leaving.

The Giver Summary

Jonas soon realized that the newchild, Gabriel, which has been taken care of by his family unit, was due for release the day of the Ceremony, and decides to take Gabriel with him. Despite not being able to say goodbye to the Giver, who stays in order to help the Community recover after the escape, Jonas used his father's bike and limited provisions in order to flee to Elsewhere with Gabe. Throughout the journey, they faced dangers from the cold and lack of food, drinking from streams with Jonas giving most of his provisions to Gabriel. Eventually, they ventured across the forest an arrived at a place deemed to be Elsewhere, and Jonas, on the brink of starvation, managed to escape with Gabe on a sled across the border.

Set roughly three years after the Giver, Jonas was mentioned in Gathering Blue when Matty was trying to convince Kira to move to the Village, indicating that he and Gabriel made it to Elsewhere alive. He described a 'two-syllable boy, not even broken,' the same age as her with 'amazing blue eyes', and speculated that Kira could marry him if she wanted to, which she denied. Jonas then grew to be an adult and Leader of Village in Elsewhere, depicted as a place where all outcasts from previous communities gathered to create a cherishing and altruistic community.

It is said in the book that a few years after he fled his Community, he was sent a barrage of books from the Giver that now make up his library, a sign that things had indeed changed.

Reading Journal "The Giver" by Lois Lowry | Lois Lowry - The Giver

Directly outside the Village resided a Forest , a perhaps sentient and dangerous realm which Villagers feared. A boy with pale eyes, Matty, known as Matt, seemed to pass through the Forest without incident and subsequently was appointed Messenger by Jonas, now known as Leader. Discord soon grew within the Village, as a creature called Trademaster began to appear and tempt Villagers with material goods in exchange for their virtues.

This transformed their compassion into discontent, and they soon pushed to close their borders to the disabled and broken in order to protect themselves, much to the Leader' dismay. Seer, Kira's father, soon sent Matt back to his own Village in order to retrieve her before the borders close. Leader used his capacity to See Beyond in order sense the Forest's dangers. As their journey reached its end but their situation grew more perilous, Leader himself went to attempt to save them but was captured by the Forest's traps.

Kira, who also possess the capacity to See Beyond using her weaving skills, manages to forge a telepathic connection with him, who tells her to ask Matt to use his powers.


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Matt expands his abilities to heal not just the entire Forest, but the Village and its peoples as well, diminishing Trademaster's threat and restoring the Villagers' humanity at the expense of his own life.