What plan do Jonas and The Giver come up with in The Giver?

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Jonas and The Giver plan for Jonas to escape to Elsewhere and return the memories to the people while The Giver helps them through the difficult and confusing time.

When Jonas sees the Release of the newborn twin, he realizes that his community is not what he thought.  He and The Giver decide to change things.  Jonas is infuriated, and The Giver reminds him that his people “know nothing” (p. 153).  Jonas is puzzled when The Giver says they will make a plan.

"A plan for what? There's nothing. There's nothing we can do. It's always been this way. Before me, before you, before the ones who came before you. Back and back and back." (p. 154)

The Giver reminds Jonas that people “felt things once” and they can again.  Jonas has made him realize that “things must change” (p. 155).  Jonas and The Giver develop a plan that The Giver now thinks will work.  Jonas is not sure.

It was possible, what they had planned. Barely possible. If it failed, he would very likely be killed.  (p. 155)

Jonas realizes that if he stays, “his life was no longer worth living.”  Jonas also knows that if he leaves, he can never come back.  Once the memories are returned to the people, they will be there to stay.  People will begin to feel: love, fear, and everything else.  The Giver thinks that the people of the community will “acquire some wisdom.”

The plan is for The Giver to transfer memories of strength and courage to Jonas before the Ceremony of Twelve, and then he will escape.  The plan changes when Jonas finds out that Gabriel is scheduled for Release.  He flees early, taking Gabe with him.


Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (p. 156). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.