In The Giver Jonas has already shown intellegence, integrity, courage and wisdom. Can you give me examples of in the book that Jonas displays each of those four?

Expert Answers

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

Intelligence: Jonas demonstrates intelligence when he is able to distinguish between his own reality and the reality of his family. He makes the distinction between his mother's "feelings" of sadness and the weight of the world's grief, which he has witnessed through the act of receiving memories. He also demonstrates intelligence in his willingness to digest all of the new information he must process through the receipt of memories; this is a mature and smart decision.

Courage and integrity: Jonas demonstrates both courage and integrity in stealing his father's bicycle and riding towards Elsewhere in order to save baby Gabriel from being released. He has no idea what waits on the other side for him and must endure a difficult journey, yet he still pursues it, knowing that it is what is right; he values human life over the ridiculous rules that have been placed upon the community.

Wisdom: Jonas demonstrates wisdom through the repeated act of receiving the memories from the Giver. These memories forever alter his life; they force him into a sense of separation from the community while imparting in him a knowledge that is far more dimensional than what the others are allowed to know. Through this process, Jonas gains the wisdom of truth—memories of hate, love, war, and so much more. He is awakened from his previously shallow life.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Jonas shows intelligence because he is aware of what is happening around him, even from a young age and in a community where no one seems to think for oneself.  For example, Jonas is heavily concerned with using the right word to describe his feelings.  Jonas also does well in his studies, according to his father.

Integrity is a concept beyond honesty.  It is defined as "moral character" (  Jonas is watched all of the time, as everyone in the community is, but he also tries hard to obey the rules and tell the truth because he thinks it's the right thing to do.  When he is asked to put the apple back, he does.

Courage is a trait that Jonas acquires, but he does seem brave to embark on the confusing and scary process of becoming Receiver of Memory.  He accepts the painful memories and rise to learn from them.  When Jonas leaves with Gabe, he shows true courage.

"The fourth essential attribute," the Chief Elder said, "is wisdom. Jonas has not yet acquired that. The acquisition of wisdom will come through his training.

Wisdom is the idea of seasoned intelligence to make good decisions.  The Elders say that Jonas will acquire wisdom, but he seems to already have it.  He realizes that the memories are important to the community, and that the fact that people don't feel is wrong.  He knows that the communities concept of releasing anyone who doesn't fit in is wrong, and he works to rectify this.


Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (p. 63). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

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