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Are Jonas and Gabriel related biologically as they have the same light eyes, can see...

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lsabak | Salutatorian

Posted December 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM via iOS

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Are Jonas and Gabriel related biologically as they have the same light eyes, can see color, etc.?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 9, 2013 at 3:17 AM (Answer #1)

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In The Giver, there is a suggestion that Jonas and Gabriel may have had the same birth-mother which, perhaps, explains the fraternal bond between them. For, in Chapter 3 his sister Lily points out the similarity in the eyes of Gabriel and Jonas, "And he has funny eyes like yours, Jonas!" But, no one is certain because birth mothers have three children and then must become laborers and the children they produce are not identified with them. However, since Gabriel so easily receives the messages of color and other messages that Jonas sends, and he is comforted by these memories, it would seem that there is a bond between them, one that could easily be genetic. In Chapter 14, for instance, Gabriel, who is fretful, sleeps better when he spends the night with Jonas. When the baby awakens and will not sleep, Jonas imparts to him a memory of beautiful, breezy day on a lake that is so clear that it appears turquoise; the white sail of a ship billows in the wind and the ship glides along, and the baby resumes his sleep.

With this memory imparted to him, Gabriel becomes calmer and sleeps. "Startled, Jonas pulled back what was left of the memory with a burst of will" because he remembers that he has not been given permission to share memories. But, after Gabriel awakens in the night, this time Jonas purposely lays his hand on the baby's back and releases the remainder of the pleasant memory; the baby again falls asleep. Clearly, then, there is a bond between the boy and the baby who senses more than most--perhaps, even feeling sorrow and worry; furthermore, Jonas develops a genuine love for the baby and does not want him "released." He has feelings for this baby; at the same time, Gabriel certainly feels secure with the older boy, an indication that there is, indeed, a bond between them, part of which may be a kinship, both of body and of mind. This bond is depicted in the final chapter as

...clutching Gabriel, keeping him safe...they sped in a straight line through an incision that seemed to lead to the final destination, that place that he had always felt was waiting, the Elsewhere that held their future and their past. 

Jonas feels that the joy below is waiting for both him and the baby, too.

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dadadance | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:17 PM (Answer #2)

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So, is it possible that Claire and Jonas are siblings? In "Son", Claire is 14/15 and Jonas 12. Each Birthmother gives birth to 1 baby every year for 3 years. So, it can be possible that the Birthmother of Jonas and Claire is the same; Claire could be the first baby born and Jonas the third one. In fact, they both have pale eyes and have a central role in the story. Maybe it is something Lois Lowry is trying to hide! What do you think about this?

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