What are the 12 main events in The Giver by Lois Lowry?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A lot of important events happen during the course of the novel, and I would say that there are more than twelve important events; therefore, my list of twelve is likely to differ from another reader's list of twelve important events.  

  1. Jonas has dinner with his family.  This is the earliest stand out event in my opinion because it's so familiar and odd at the same time.  They are having a family dinner and conversation, and that's totally normal; however, the forced discussion about feelings is strikingly odd.  
  2. Jonas's father brings home a baby named Gabriel.  Readers are told that the baby is not developing fast enough, so he is given extra nurturing time with Jonas's father and family. 
  3. Jonas sees the color red for the first time on an apple. 
  4. Jonas visits the House of Old and listens to Larissa describe the release ceremony of Roberto. 
  5. Jonas feels the "Stirrings" for the first time and begins taking medication to suppress those feelings. 
  6. Jonas attends the Ceremony of the Twelve, and his name is not called with all of the other kids.  Instead, he is chosen to be the next Receiver of Memory.  
  7. Jonas receives special instructions to stop taking his medication.  He's also allowed to lie. 
  8. Jonas meets the Giver and begins his training.  He receives his first memories.  The one about sledding shows him pleasure and joy, and the one about sunburn introduces Jonas to pain. 
  9. Jonas begins to see color. 
  10. Jonas learns about the previous Receiver of Memory.  He learns that she couldn't handle her training and asked for release. 
  11. Jonas learns what release actually means.  
  12. Jonas runs away with Gabriel and successfully escapes his society.  Readers don't know if Jonas and Gabriel actually survive and make it to Elsewhere. 
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Twelve is a very specific number, so there will be more events than the ones I list.  However, here are the top 12.

  1. A plane flies over the Community and frightens Jonas.
  2. Jonas sees the apple “change,” actually seeing the color red for the first time.
  3. Jonas is appointed Receiver of Memory in the Ceremony of Twelve.
  4. Jonas’s father brings Gabe home for extra nurturing.
  5. Jonas receives the memory of love and stops taking the Stirrings pills.
  6. Jonas takes a memory of pain from The Giver.
  7. Jonas pleads with Asher not to play war games, and Asher does not understand.  Their friendship is all but gone.
  8. Gabe is given an extra year of nurturing and is not assigned to a family.
  9. Jonas sees the video of the Release of the newborn twin.
  10. Jonas learns that Rosemary asked for Release and injected herself.
  11. Jonas and The Giver plan Jonas’s escape during the Ceremony of Twelve.  The Giver will stay behind to help the Community deal with the memories.
  12. Jonas and Gabriel escape, and make it to Elsewhere (which possibly means they die).


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The Giver

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