In the novel The Giver, what might people have against the theory that Jonas and Gabe die?In the end of The Giver, the author ends suddenly. What happens to Jonas and Gabe? Nobody knows. What would...

In the novel The Giver, what might people have against the theory that Jonas and Gabe die?

In the end of The Giver, the author ends suddenly. What happens to Jonas and Gabe? Nobody knows. What would you have to say against the theory that they die?  Why do you think that they didn't die?

Asked on by ouichef13

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Both of the other posts by pohnpei397 and lynn30k were excellent. It is particularly interesting that author Lois Lowry intended for Jonas and Gabe to live in the end of The Giver. When I first read the story, I wondered myself if the two actually survived or if they were merely hallucinating shortly before dying. I assumed that the uplifting actions taken by Jonas could only be rewarded with his survival, and I guessed that the two were rescued by villagers from Elsewhere. Readers with a more skeptical view could certainly assume that they merely entered the world of the Released

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I had always read the book to mean that the two died at the end. It seemed that the sights and sounds Jonas saw and heard were hallucinations based on the memories given to him to store--his "life", or that of many others, flashing before him, so to speak. I was surprised when I found out that other people believed that they lived, and figured it was mostly that people wanted and expected happy endings, especially for children. But then I read an interview with Lois Lowry, the author. She said she had not intended for readers to assume the two died. I guess it is as with any work of art--take from it what you think it means.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The only real reason I can give for feeling this is that the book would not be very triumphant if Jonas and Gabe died. As it is, the book is a story of the triumph of humanity over oppression.  It would really dilute the message if Jonas and Gabe died.  If they died, it would show that there really is nothing but oppression in the world -- that "Elsewhere" is not real.  This would be a very depressing outcome.

Other than that, there is no reason to think they lived.  It seems hard to understand how that community they lived on could have existed as it was if there was an "Elsewhere."

mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I have read the book to interpret that they did not die in the end of the story.  I think that you will find that people relate to the story on "the glass being half full or half empty theory."  This being said, I know that when Jonas was leaving the Giver had told him that the memories he would make in the future would be his own memories.  I think that as Jonas finds the things that he knows about from his memories given to him by the Giver, he begins to hear the music that he had not had in his memory.  He is creating a new memory, his own. The music was my thought that meant that he was still alive and moving towards it at the end of the story. 

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