What does Jonas begin to perceive and begin to see in The Giver?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The first thing that Jonas sees that is different than everyone else is the color red.

When Jonas is playing catch with his friend Asher, he notices something strange about the apple they are using for a ball.

It had changed in mid-air, he remembered. Then it was in his hand, and he looked at it carefully, but it was the same apple. (ch 3, p. 24)

Jonas asks Asher if he sees anything different about the apple, but Asher just makes a joke about not being able to catch it.  He doesn’t see a change.

Later, Jonas learns that he has seen the color red.  The apple changed from the non-color it has always been to the color red that no one sees.  Red is the first color Jonas can see.  He sees it again during the Ceremony of Twelve when he is asked if he has the Capacity to See Beyond.  He realizes that he has special powers that make him different from everyone else, and make him receptive to receiving memories.

The changing apple foreshadows Jonas’s gift and the idea that he is different from the others.  At this early point in the book, Jonas does not know he is different from anyone else and neither does the reader.  The changing apple tells us that something is different about this community, and about Jonas, and we are about to find out what.

 

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (p. 24). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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