In The Giver, how did Jonas react to the kids' war game?

Expert Answers

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

Jonas is terribly upset when he sees his friends "play" at war because he now understands what war really is.  One of the most dreadful memories the Giver has now shared with him is a memory of war, and Jonas has experienced its horror and chaos, with boys and animals dying around him and his own pain from a wound.  As Jonas watches his friends, he realizes that war is not a game, but something that has actually happened and could happen again. He has almost a "flashback" to the memory he now has and he is "struggling not to cry" (Lowry 134). He begs them to stop playing, but they are not a bit happy about this.  He tries to understand their responses from their point of view. Since they have no memory or knowledge of real war, to them it is only a game.  But he understand that the separation between himself and his friends is irrevocable, and that as he has gained memories and understanding, he has lost his innocence.  He knows he loves his friends, but they are not capable of loving him, and he must go forward in many ways without them.  This is a terribly lonely feeling for Jonas.

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