What is an internal conflict in The Giver?

Expert Answers

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

The internal conflicts of Lois Lowry's The Giver are all centralized around Jonas.  When the novel begins, Jonas fully buys into his society, but things change after he is chosen to be the next receiver.  As Jonas receives knowledge and feelings from the Giver, he begins to doubt his blind acceptance of his society's norms.  That change in attitude is one of Jonas's conflicts.  It's tough for him to realize that his feelings are quickly moving toward believing that everything about his society is wrong.  The rules, the lack of emotions, the sameness, etc.  But more than anything else, Jonas struggles with his realization of what "releasing" means.  It's not a nice, gentle placing of humans into a different society as the name implies.  It's euthanasia. Jonas struggles with it on a moral and ethical level.  He knows that it is wrong, but isn't sure how to change anything.  He and the Giver come up with a plan, but toward the end of the novel, Jonas is spurred into immediate action.  His little brother, Gabriel, is scheduled to be released.  Jonas takes Gabriel and runs away, which shows how Jonas has moved from an internal conflict to a very visible external conflict against his society's rules.  

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