In Lois Lowry's The Giver, how does Jonas change Gabriel's life?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Gabriel is the little baby who is brought home by Jonas's father for some extra care because he isn't growing and developing like the other babies his age. Lily notices that both Gabriel's and Jonas's eyes are lighter than everyone else's. This similarity establishes a connection between Jonas and the baby and begs the question if Gabriel and Jonas share the same birth mother. Jonas also senses a connection to Gabriel because Gabriel cries a lot at night. For some reason, Gabriel can't be comforted. Once Jonas learns how to share memories, though, he changes Gabriel's life by giving him peace at night so he can sleep. Along with the beautiful memories that Jonas learns about, though, he also experiences sad and painful memories. As Jonas experiences pain and sadness, he can relate more to what Gabriel might be feeling when he can't sleep at night. No one else in the community knew how to comfort Gabriel, not even Father who is a natural Nurturer. So as Jonas connects with Gabriel on a deeper level, both of their lives are changed for the better. Through the sharing of memories, a brotherly feeling is created and both Jonas and Gabriel benefit from their companionship. It's too bad that the story ends with the two running away because it would have been interesting to see how Gabriel would have grown up with Jonas by his side.

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