Compare a character from The Outsiders and a character from The Giver.        

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas from The Giver and Ponyboy from The Outsiders are similar because they are both thoughtful, intelligent, and outsiders in their society.

Jonas is very unusual within his community.  Everyone in his community looks and acts alike.  There are strict rules and conventions enforcing behavior, which they call Sameness.  Jonas is different because he is unusually reflective.  He actually thinks about things that happen around him.  His community chooses him as Receiver of Memory because he has these special traits.

"Jonas was identified as a possible Receiver many years ago. We have observed him meticulously. There were no dreams of uncertainty.

"He has shown all of the qualities that a Receiver must have." (Ch. 8) 

Jonas is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory because he has been seen to have intelligence, integrity, courage, the potential for wisdom, and the Capacity to See Beyond, which means that he has special abilities. 

As Jonas continues his training, he comes to believe that his society could be different.  The concepts that his community has given up, such as love, emotions, and choice, are actually very important to leading a full life.  Without them, his community is morally bankrupt. 

Ponyboy does not have special powers, but he is unique.  He is a greaser, which means he is poor and has limited opportunities in life.  He gets good grades, and like Jonas is reflective on his society.  He also looks at his world and sees that things could be different.  Greasers and Socs do not have to be at odds, constantly fighting. 

When Pony meets Cherry and Marcia, two Soc girls, and talks to them, he realizes that the Socs are not that different from the greasers. 

I shook my head. It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and, the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset. (Ch. 3) 

Ponyboy, like Jonas, wants to be able to live in a different kind of world.  He would like to be able to walk down the street without fearing for his safety.  He is proud of being a greaser, but he doesn’t like fighting.  He wants to support his buddies, but he gets no pleasure from it himself.

Jonas and Ponyboy both see that there is something wrong with the world they live in.  They question the status quo.  Ponyboy makes overtures to get to know Socs such as Cherry and Randy, and Jonas leaves so that he can return his community to a more natural state by giving them back the memories.

Read the study guide:
The Giver

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