What are Jonas's beliefs about Elsewhere?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jonas believes that Elsewhere is a place that is not predictable; it is not a place where conformity and sameness and euphemistic speech are revered.

Elsewhere has no patterns, no medians. It has extremes, it has color and vibrancy and strong emotional experiences. It has pain and memories and all else that has been sacrificed so that everyone can be content in life. Nevertheless, Jonas, who has learned what actual emotions and feelings are like, welcomes the unpredictability of Elsewhere. For, in this place he and Gabriel can feel alive; they can develop to the best of their abilities, and they can expect the unexpected.

Jonas has learned from the Giver the truth about his society: It removes memories of color and pain and other emotions; it has taken from them memories of the past and has enforced an equality and a dullness, making them easily expendable. In Elsewhere, though, Jonas and Gabriel can truly live. There they will acquire memories, they will know true joy and happiness because they will also becomes acquainted with sorrow and pain. Jonas and Gabriel will see colors and feel cold and heat and comfort and pain--they will choose how they live in "the Elsewhere that held their future and their past."

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