By Lois Lowry Flyer Created by Gaby Pena
Meet Jonas, a 12 year old boy who lives in what you might call a ‘’sacred utopia’’, where diseases, poverty, hunger, and wars don’t seem to exist. He really lives in a community that’s run by a selected group of elders who have complete control of the entire place, they make strict rules so they can ensure that the people of the community can live in the ‘’most perfect place ever’’. This group of elders not only control everything in the community, but they also control YOU right down to who you will marry, who your parents will be, what children you will be assigned, and your life occupation.
The whole point of having strict heavy duty rules, is to ensure that everyone is the same, or just equal. People of the community are only allowed to visit other communities; they can’t leave the actual place. Being ‘’released’’ isn’t really good and only sick infants and really old people get released.
Anyways, let’s start talking more about Jonas. Because Jonas is almost a twelve, the upcoming ceremony for him and other twelves, is a really big deal. At this ceremony for them, they will be told of their life occupation. While his best friends Asher and Fiona and the rest of the new twelves get assigned to their new jobs, Jonas is skipped. The chief elder finishes the ceremony and explains that Jonas has been "selected" to be the new Receiver of Memory.
Now that Jonas is the new Receiver of Memory, he is given a list of rules of things he can and cannot do. He can’t discuss any of the things that he learns or sees in his training with the giver, he can lie, and he can be rude if he wanted to.
Jonas starts his training with the old Receiver, who is now referred to as the Giver. His training consists of receiving a series of memories from the Giver. The Giver isn’t just giving Jonas any ordinary memories, rather theyre memories of all of humanity from long long ago. These were memories from before the community was established. They were memories of love, color, sex, music, family, emotions; things that were obviously not in the community. The first memory that Jonas receives is that of sledding down a snowy hill. Jonas receives very happy and warm memories, but not all of them are fun. He also receives memories of war, brutal death, diseases, and just really horrible things. This changes Jonas’s perspective of everything. Jonas realizes that everyone in his community has never felt any emotions about anything. After learning what a ‘’release’’ really is, he decides he doesn’t want to live in a world inside the community. So he and the Giver come out with a plan: Jonas will fake his own death and will escape to elsewhere. When Jonas leaves the community, all the memories that the Giver has given will be released in the community, and they’ll all have to deal with the pain of the memories.
Well, things don’t go as planned. As Jonas is escaping, he finds out that Gabriel, a child that his family unit was taking care of temporarily, is scheduled for a release. Jonas decides to take the baby with him to elsewhere on bike.
Weeks after their escape, Jonas is still riding to else with Gabriel, the two of them nearly starving to death. To keep them both going, Jonas transmits memories of sunshine and warmth to the baby and himself.
Finally, Jonas finds himself biking up a familiar looking hill and immediately recognized it from his first ever memory and ditches the bike and takes Gabriel up to the top where he finds a sled waiting for him. He climbs in with the baby and makes his way down the hill, fully convinced that at the bottom of the hill is elsewhere and that people are waiting to greet the two of them.
Jonas is the main protagonist of the novel. Jonas is an intelligent, polite twelve year old boy who is chosen to be the next Receiver of Memory at the December Ceremony in his community. Being the next Receiver of Memory is a big deal in the community, and is an honored position. Before he begins his training with the Giver, Jonas is a bit ''non-caring'' about being the next Receiver. But after, he becomes a wiser and realizes how dull his community is compared to all of the memories hes seen. During his training, Jonas gains emotions and feelings. He starts to experience love for the first time, his love for the Giver, his family, and the community as a whole. Jonas risks his life for the sake of the citizens, he hopes that leaving the community will return all of humanities memories to the citizens and they'll finally understand.
The current Receiver of Memory, referred to as The Giver, trains Jonas to become the next Receiver. Since he has to carry all of the memories of the world and all of humanity, he has to carry all of the pain, suffering, and sadness of all of those memories. The Giver is quite lonely because he cant discuss any of his work or share memories with the citizens of the community. Unlike the people in the community, he actually has ''feelings'' and emotions and loves Jonas and everyone in his community.
An infant who stays with Jonas's family unit because he needs extra attention and nuturing.
Jonas's mother is very intelligent and holds a job at the Department of Justice in her community. One of her jobs is to punish citizens for breaking the rules.
Jonas's father works as a nurturer who is responsible for raising and caring for newborn infants. He is also responsible for the ''releases'',(killing) of infants who are considered ''worthless'' because they lack physical or mental health.
Jonas's little sister who is an eight.
Asher is Jonas's best friend who is assigned as the Assistant Director of Recreation.
Fiona is a really close friend of Jonas's, he later falls in love for her. Shes assigned as a caretaker for the old.
― Lois Lowry, The Giver
“If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever.”
“...now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow - moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going”
“If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!”
TEACHER LIKE QUESTIONS
2. What were Jonas's feelings about ''stirrings''?
3. What is a release?