Unlike the other characters introduced in the exposition to Lowry's novel, Jonas ponders the customary and does not simply follow along. When, for example, his family observes the evening ritual of talking about their feelings, Jonas is reluctant to do so:
Ohans sighed. This evening he almost would have preferred to keep his feelings hidden. But it was, of course, against the rules.
Earlier, as he pedals his bicycle home along the river path, Jonas recalls how frightened he had been when an odd airplane had flown over this path, and he searches for the right words to describe his feelings because "Jonas was careful about language." Indeed, it is apparent that Jonas is a burgeoning individual, who obeys because of his conditioning, but there are indications that, as a thinker, Jonas may not accept all the rules. For, in his conversations with the Giver, Jonas asks him about many hypothetical situations. Clearly, Lowry provides much foreshadowing of Jonas's rebellious and independent act at the end of her narrative.