The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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).


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cindy1belcher | Student

Jonas and the Giver come up with a plan to bring about major change in the community. Through receiving of memories, Jonas has come to realize that life as he knows it is not life at all. He and the Giver know that, although it is easier to have no pain, sorrow or heartache in life, the community is also missing out on joy, pleasure and love. They hope to bring wholeness to the people by orchestrating a series of events that will force the people to partake of the memories Jonas has received.

The plan will be set in motion at midnight on the day of the yearly Ceremony. Jonas will leave his dwelling in the middle of the night to avoid being seen by anyone. He will leave his bicycle and a change of clothes by the river and proceed to the Annex. The Giver will make arrangements for a vehicle to take him to one of the other communities, and he will hide Jonas in the storage compartment. On this trip Jonas will be left to escape to Elsewhere. The community will find Jonas' bicycle and clothes and assume he was swept away in the river, and the Giver will lead them in the Ceremony of Loss. He also will be there to help the people assimilate the memories become whole, understanding pain, sorrow, love, joy, and pleasure.

The plan changes when Jonas learns that Gabe didn't do well at the Nurturing Center the night before; therefore he will be released the following morning. Jonas makes the decision to flee with Gabriel, putting his departure from the community in motion earlier that he and the Giver had planned and without having time to let his dear friend and teacher know what he is doing. He and Gabriel escape to Elsewhere, although the journey is very difficult.