How does Jonas feel about Gabriel in The Giver?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Jonas feels a connection to Gabriel as he has eyes like him and seems different from other newchildren.

In Chapter 3 the father, who has procured a reprieve from being released for the baby, brings Gabriel home because he has not been sleeping through the night and is not gaining weight as he should. There is something different about Gabriel; for one thing, his eyes are light as are those of Jonas. And, he seems to be able to receive memories from Jonas, who transmits them when Gabriel begins to sleep in Jonas's room. These dreams seem to comfort the baby, who sleeps better afterwards because his breathing becomes deeper and more even.

Jonas liked having him there, though he felt guilty about the secret. Each night he gave memories to Gabriel: memories of boat rides and picnics in the sun; memories of soft rainfall against windowpanes; memories of dancing barefoot on a damp lawn.

There seems to be a bond between Jonas and the baby, as though they are related. At least, they share memories. Later, however, Gabriel is returned to the Nurturing Center, but he again develops problems sleeping. Consequently, Gabriel is allowed to come home with Father again, and is returned to Jonas's room.

There Jonas talks to the baby: "Things could change, Gabe,...There could be colors....There could be love," Jonas whispers. Later, in Chapter 19 Jonas asks the Giver about release, and is shown what happens. After this, when his father tells him Gabe is going to be released, Jonas feels that he must save the baby. So, he takes him with him as he searches for Elsewhere, where color and love exist.



Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial