What change happens to Jonas during the book?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, Jonas is a naive citizen who does not question his society and enjoys his relative life of ease. Jonas is a model citizen who obeys the community's rules and participates in the required rituals of society, such as dream telling and attending ceremonies. Once Jonas is chosen to the be the next Receiver of Memory, he discovers the dark truth behind the community's meticulous methods to ensure a completely safe, comfortable environment. Jonas is disturbed to learn that the term "release" is a euphemism for death and discovers that the community has completely abolished independent thoughts and actions from society. Jonas's perception of his community changes as a result of his enlightening experiences with The Giver. Jonas becomes a dissident, who ends up taking control of his future. Jonas attempts to change society for the better and save Gabriel's life by fleeing from the community. Overall, Jonas goes from being a naive, content citizen, to a rebel who is willing to risk everything to change his community and control his own destiny. 

slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning of The Giver, Jonas enjoys living in the community and tries to be a perfect citizen, closely following the rules of the community. He worries about using the most precise words to convey his feelings, following all the rules, and doing what is expected of him. When he becomes the Receiver of Memories, his eyes are opened to other possibilities in the world, and Jonas learns the truth about pain, joy, love, and sorrow. Jonas realizes that everything he knew about the world was an illusion that the community created. Jonas begins to change his mind about following the rules, and begins to plan ways to change his society. He goes from being model citizen to being a secret rebel, disagreeing with the community's practices of "releasing" people (euthanasia) and eventually leaves the community to risk finding elsewhere to live with his foster brother, Gabe. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This whole book is really about how Jonas changes from the beginning to the end.

At the beginning of the book, Jonas is pretty much like everyone else in the community.  He totally believes in all of the stuff that their leaders tell them and he completely accepts all of the rules.

But by the end of the book, he is ready and willing to destroy the society.  That is, after all, what he will do by releasing all those memories back into the society.

The change is that he has come to understand how important human feelings are.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the beginning of the book Jonas is a lot like everyone else in his community.  He is satisfied with his life, does what he is supposed to, and believes the things that he is taught.  He lives with his parental unit and his younger sister and accepts the idea of release in his society.  He functions well in a world of sameness.

After he becomes the receiver, he begins to get memories from the Giver.  The memories open his mental understanding of concepts unknown to the others in the community.  He becomes awae of color, and sensations, emotions, and fear.  He experiences the terror of death on a battle field.  Finally, he observes his father releasing a twin, and he realizes that it is death/murder.

Jonas becomes aware that he will have a very lonely life in his role as the receiver.  He has an understanding about life that no one else other than the Giver can realte to.  The Giver plans to ask for release once the memories are changed over.

Unhappy about the things he has realized about the society, Jonas can no longer function in it.  He makes plans to run away and he takes the baby Gabriel with him.

dheniel | Student

absulotly right good job guys.oh by the way im a principal so i know that you guys are right

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The Giver

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