What is Jonas's appearance in the book The Giver?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jonas is discussing his future ceremony of Twelve with his mother and father, the narrator tells us that his father reached over and "stroked [his] neatly-trimmed hair."  This is really all the information we get about his particular style of hair, or rather, his indistinctive style since we learn that the age groups share a haircut.

It's true that Jonas's eyes make him stand out from others in the community—so much so that his sister, Lily, points out (rather rudely in Jonas's view) the fact that the newchild, Gabriel's, eyes are just like Jonas's.  

"Oh, look!" Lily squealed in delight. "Isn’t he cute? [....] And he has funny eyes like yours, Jonas!" Jonas glared at her. He didn’t like it that she had mentioned his eyes.
The "pale" eyes that Jonas shares with so few other people stand out from the ocean of dark eyes the rest of the community seems to possess.  They also, he feels give a different sort of look to both himself and Gabriel, as well as anyone else who possesses them.  Jonas typically doesn't see himself in the mirror, and so he considers his eyes and expression as a result of his observation of Gabe.
Now [...], he was reminded that the light eyes were not only a rarity but gave the one who had them a certain look — what was it?  Depth, he decided; as if one were looking into the clear water of the river, down to the bottom, where things might lurk which hadn’t been discovered yet.  He felt self-conscious, realizing that he, too, had that look. 
Such a statement very much foreshadows future events that happen to Jonas; he does have a depth that others lack, absolutely, and it is, apparently, visible on his countenance; in fact, it helped the Elders to identify him as a potential candidate to be the Receiver of Memory.  We begin to understand its importance when we learn that the current Receiver also shares Jonas's "pale eyes" when Jonas is named as the new Receiver.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most important thing about Jonas’s appearance is his eyes.  Jonas’s eyes separate him from the rest of the community, and seem to genetically predispose him to the “gift” of Capacity to See Beyond.

Jonas has pale eyes, when everyone else’s are dark.  There are few people with pale eyes: Gabriel, The Giver, and a female Five.

No one mentioned such things; it was not a rule, but was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals. (ch 3, p. 20)

Jonas looks like everyone else in most other senses.  He has brown hair, and it is cut short (everyone has the same haircut, based on age).

Jonas is white.  We know that there used to be different skin tones, but they eliminated them when they chose Sameness.

Today flesh is all the same, and what you saw was the red tones. Probably when you saw the faces take on color it wasn't as deep or vibrant as the apple… (ch 13, pp. 94-95)

Jonas wears a tunic, which is kind of like a long shirt, and pants.  He dresses like everyone else.

Jonas's eyes are significant because they separate him from the others.  Even though it's not polite to talk about his eyes, it is clear that Jonas has always been a little different.

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

user4504465 | Student

What kind of haircut does Jonas have in The Giver.

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The Giver

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