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The Giver - Main Character

By ladieelen Sep 02, 2001 801 Words
Jonas, the main character in The Giver by Lois Lowry, is a very strong person, which allows him to go farther in life then the people that surround him. Throughout Jonas's life he has known nothing but "sameness". He lives in a Utopian community where there are no choices and everyone in his world has their lives laid out for them. But, Jonas is given the job of "Receiver of Memory". He alone knows the truths of the world, a world with colors, pain, and choices. What he does with these truths will bring obstacles to his life that will show the readers not only his strengths but his weaknesses as well. Jonas is made to bear the truths of the world alone and is troubled by what he should do with it. Jonas at first doesn't want the memories because after receiving several of them, all that Jonas has known is being questioned and his world turned upside down. He is angry and afraid after receiving his first set of memories. Angry because of what has been kept from him and afraid because now he doesn't know what to do. Jonas is uncertain whether the world he learns of is best for his community and if people can be trusted to make decisions on their own. In a conversation to "The Giver" (person passing down the memories) about whether or not it is safe to allow people to make their own choices, Jonas say, "What if they are allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong? … We really have to protect people from wrong choices." But, by the end of that conversation he is uncertain about his feelings and about many other things. Jonas is confused because he doesn't know what he should do about it or if he should do anything at all. Jonas finally decides to change the world (at least the one he knows of), but he faces many obstacles trying to do so. Jonas speaks to the Giver about giving memories to the community. He wants to share them with everyone and change the way the community works. He wants to give them choices and show them that there are differences. The Giver says the only way the community will receive them is if Jonas goes to the beyond and loses his connection to them. Then and only then will the memories be released. Meaning Jonas must leave all his family and friends and go out into the unknown. Jonas is willing to take that chance, only for the sake of the new child in his family, Gabriel, whom he desperately wants to save. Jonas decides to go even though it means leaving his world behind for a new world he knows nothing about. Through Jonas's problems the reader is able to see his weaknesses and strengths. Jonas's only evident weakness is ignorance. Even though Jonas is given all the knowledge of the world he is still unsure about everything. At first he doesn't realize the magnitude of importance his job has. He doesn't grasp the idea that whatever he decides to do with his knowledge will change the community forever. He takes on his work and the decisions he makes lightly without considering the effects that he will have on others. At many times he is selfish because he doesn't have experience in making choices and doesn't realize how much his choices can and will effect others. Jonas's main strength is that he is very strong in mind. His world has been changed forever and all he ever thought was true is wrong, but throughout this he has remained strong. For a mere 12-year-old child, Jonas has shown strengths that most adults never possess. He has the strength to endure the pain and suffering he is forced to deal with and the strength to do something about it. Jonas's ignorance and strength are evident when the Giver gives him the memories. Jonas's efforts are successful in some ways. He does manage to leave the community and is strong enough to carry on throughout his adventure into the unknown. Lowry never states whether his old community has been changed and leaves the conclusion of the book as a mystery. All the reader knows is that Jonas escapes the community and is able to save himself and Gabriel. Through Jonas's experiences he is able to go further then anyone has been given the opportunity to in his community. Jonas is a perfect example of fighting against the odds. Though faced with many barriers he is able to overcome the community, his own weaknesses and fears in order to save not only himself and Gabriel, but also the entire community.

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