What major conflict does Jonas face in chapter three of The Giver?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonas’s main conflict in chapter 3 is that he is different than others in the community, and it makes him uncomfortable.

Jonas’s conflict is an internal one.  The chapter begins by describing how the Newchild Gabe has pale eyes, just like Jonas.  Mentioning the difference makes him uncomfortable, because the community stresses Sameness.  Not being the same causes conflict.

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)

The Newchild’s unsettling eyes remind Jonas of another time he was painfully reminded of how different he was.  This happened when he was tossing an apple back and forth with Asher, and the apple changed.

But suddenly Jonas had noticed, following the path of the apple through the air with his eyes, that the piece of fruit had—well, this was the part that he couldn't adequately understand—the apple had changed. (ch 3, p. 24)

Both these events and the internal conflict they cause in Jonas foreshadow Jonas’s selection as Receiver of Memory, and his gift to See Beyond.  Jonas feels singled out because he is different.  He can see things others cannot see.  He is special, and this will cause more conflicts as he has to come to terms with how he is special, and that his community is not what he thinks it is.


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