What is the plan Jonas and the Giver come up with in The Giver? How does it change?

In The Giver, the original plan that Jonas and the Giver come up with was for Jonas to sneak out of his dwelling in the middle of the night and leave his bike by the riverbank. Jonas would then spend the night with the Giver and hide inside the storage area of a truck. The community searchers would discover Jonas's bike and assume that he drowned. This plan goes awry when Jonas learns that Gabriel will be released.

Expert Answers

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

Jonas and the Giver's original plan was for Jonas to secretly leave his dwelling under the cover of darkness on the night before the annual December Ceremony. Before Jonas would sneak out of his dwelling, he would leave a note for his parents saying that he went for a morning bike ride along the river. Jonas would also take an extra set of clothes with him on his journey and leave them next to his bike along the riverbank. This would make it seem like Jonas fell in the river.

Jonas would then make his way to the Annex, where he would spend the night with the Giver. On the morning of the December Ceremony, the Giver would order a vehicle and send the driver on an errand when he arrived. Jonas would then hide in the storage area of the vehicle while the driver was away and eventually make his way to Elsewhere.

Once the citizens discovered that Jonas went missing, a search team would find his bike next to the riverbank and assume that he drowned. The Giver would then head to the Auditorium, where people would gather and seek advice for dealing with Jonas's released memories. The plan goes awry when Jonas's father says that Gabriel will be released the next day. Jonas is forced to abandon the plan and escape on his own without the Giver's help.

Jonas sneaks out of his dwelling, steals his father's bike, and takes some of the remaining food left out for the Food Collectors. Jonas then rides throughout the night past the surrounding communities and expansive agricultural fields. Jonas also begins traveling by night to avoid the community's searchers until he eventually reaches Elsewhere, where the landscape dramatically changes.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 20, the Giver and Jonas come up with a plan to change society for the better by exposing the citizens to difficult memories in order to eliminate Sameness and do away with horrific practices like releasing citizens. Their plan is for Jonas to escape to Elsewhere on the day of the December Ceremony. On the night before the December Ceremony, Jonas plans on sneaking out of his house and hiding his clothes and bike by the river before heading to the Annex. When Jonas's parents wake up on the morning of the December Ceremony, they will read a cheerful note from Jonas saying that he has gone for a bike ride. Jonas's parents will eventually leave for the festivities while the Giver hides Jonas in one of the community's trucks, which is heading to Elsewhere. After Jonas leaves the community in the truck, the Giver will tell the citizens that Jonas drowned in the river, and the Giver will help them cope with Jonas's difficult memories.

However, their plans immediately change after Jonas discovers that Gabriel will be released the next morning, which is two weeks before the December Ceremony. Jonas is then forced to steal his father's bike that night and escape from the community on his own. As he is leaving the community, Jonas must avoid search planes as he travels to Elsewhere with Gabriel. One assumes that the Giver is helping the citizens cope with the released memories after Jonas flees from the community.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In their original plan, The Giver and Jonas planned for Jonas to escape from the Community in two weeks, on the night before the December Ceremony.  During those weeks, The Giver would transfer his memories of courage and strength to Jonas, so he could use them to find Elsewhere.  Jonas would sneak out of the house at midnight, when no one would be out on the streets.  He would take his bike to the riverbank and leave it there with some folded clothes, to make it look like he had gone for a swim in the river and drowned.

Jonas would then go to the Annex, where he would hide in a vehicle The Giver would have ordered to transport himself to one of the outlying communities he frequently visited.  Jonas would ride the vehicle until he was well away from his Community, and then make his way on his own (Chapter 20).

The plans change when, that night, Jonas' Dad announces that Gabe is scheduled to be Released the next morning.  In a desperate attempt to save the child, Jonas steals away that night, taking his father's bike and Gabe along with him.  There is no time to say good-bye to The Giver, but Jonas feels he will understand.  Peddling frantically by night and hiding by day, Jonas eludes the seach planes which have been sent to find him.  He and the baby approach what Jonas believes is their destination with the last remaining strength remaining within them.  The book ends ambiguously; finally, it is not clear whether Jonas and Gabe make it to Elsewhere or not (Chapter 21).


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team