Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
What do you do when your life turns around and you find out everything you have trusted your whole life has a completely different story behind it? You change. That is exactly what happens to Jonas in the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. Through Jonas’ experience of finding out the truth in his “flawless” community, he discovers a few things he didn’t want to know and his whole personality became rebellious. Jonas changes drastically throughout the book after he gets named Receiver of Memory. He goes from being positive and innocent to feeling completely betrayed. At the beginning of the book, Jonas is a very positive person in the community. He is very obedient and follows every order given to him. When he gets orders from the community, he immediately does what he is being asked to do. For example, when over the speakerphones they told the community to drop their bikes and got to the nearest house, he didn’t think twice and ran for his house. Jonas is also allowed to lie now that he is Receiver of Memory but since no one does, he doesn’t want to either. Jonas is very respectful to his community, family, and friends. For example, he doesn’t ask disrespectful questions to friends or The Giver, the man that gives him memories. Once when he was riding to school with Asher, he saw that he took some pills. He ignored his curiousness because he didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable about his “differences”. (pg. 38) Secondly, he is careful about his language and what he says around certain people. Jonas is also very Curious; he loves to ask respectful questions. Such as, when he saw the apple change he took it home. “But he had taken the apple home, against the recreation area rules… he had it in his hand and looked at it carefully.” (pg. 25) In addition, he also asks his mom and dad questions about the community sometimes to a point where his parents get struck by the depth of his questions. In conclusion, Jonas is very positive and always looking at the bright side of things.
In the middle of the book, Jonas’ traits are changing, now he knows more about the community and what is happening. Jonas is starting to get much more impatient with the new things he learned. He tries to give family members and friends memories. “He put his hands on Asher’s shoulders, and concentrated on the red of the petals, trying to hold it as long as he could, and trying at the same time to transmit the awareness of red to his friend” (pg. 99). Jonas also wants to see all the colors and know exactly what they look like. Jonas is also a thinker, he thinks and worries too much about little things and things that normally other people wouldn’t worry so much about. For example, when he gets named as Receiver he is worried about what other people might think of him and if his relationship with the community will change. Another example is when all the memories get passed to him he thinks about it too much. Now instead of being just curious, Jonas has turned skeptical. He starts to question if the community is lying to him and everyone else. He also starts asking much deeper questions to The Giver. In conclusion, we can tell that Jonas, after The Giver passed a few memories to him, has changed.
By the end of the book, Jonas is becoming much less careful with his actions. He starts being very rebellious inside the community and stops following certain rules. He runs away with Gabriel without telling The Giver and passes memories to Gabriel so he can relax. Now that he knows what is happening he starts being less generous with people and talking back to them, which is against the rules. He feels betrayed by everyone he once used to trust. For example, after he learned the truth about release, killing, he feels betrayed by everyone in the community. He started crying and telling The Giver that he didn’t want to go home and face his parents, because they have lied to him his whole life. Jonas ended up spending the night with The Giver. He doesn’t want to see adults because feels that every single adult has lied to him about something. Lastly, instead of being skeptical now, he has become cynical. He now thinks everything is against him and doesn’t trust anyone, he feels cornered and alone. He disagrees with many things the community has to say and wants to change almost every rule. Jonas’ change in character is a really big part of the book, it shows his rebellion and makes it interesting. In conclusion, we can see that in less than a year Jonas has completely changed. He went from innocent to feeling betrayed in such little time. If it weren’t for Jonas’ change in character and being named the Receiver he would have never known all these things and the book would have no deep meaning. I think that the author is trying to tell us that in the world, we should be honest and not lie about anything because it might entirely change you when you find out the truth. It might also completely change someone else’s life that you deeply care about. Lois is also trying to tell us that in society we always want to have a perfect life but when we take it to the extreme, it might not be such a good idea after all.