What plan do Jonas and the Giver think of after they decide that things have to change?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 20, Jonas has just witnessed his father kill a baby by administering a lethal injection. Jonas is so shocked and horrified that he doesn't want to go home. He stays with the Giver that night. They devise a plan to overthrow Sameness—the condition that enables the community to live without pain through a Receiver. The Giver tells Jonas that he must get away from the community in order for their plan to work. The Giver says the following:

"So if you escape, once you are gone—and, Jonas, you know that you can never return . . . If you get away, if you get beyond, if you get to Elsewhere, it will mean that the community has to bear the burden themselves, of the memories you had been holding for them" (155-156).

In order to topple Sameness, Jonas must cross the borders of the community so the memories will flood back into the minds and hearts of the citizens. Once this happens, they will be scared of the pain and sorrow they will feel. They will need the Giver to help them handle the memories, so he cannot go with Jonas. The hope is, though, that once the Giver helps the citizens deal with the memories, life will return to the way it was before their ancestors chose to live under Sameness. As a result, people will be able to live with personal choices, love, and families, and be able to decide what they do for a living and not be forced to be released, or killed, at the will of the community.

The Giver decides that he will give Jonas memories of courage to draw from when he escapes, so that he will be able to fulfill his mission. Once he crosses the boundaries, the memories will leave him and he will be free to go where he pleases. Unfortunately, when Jonas finds out that Gabriel is set to be released the next morning, he is forced to flee with the baby without the memories of courage to support him in his flight.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The plan that the two of them dream up is that they are going to do something that will destroy the way the community is currently set up.  They are going to try to destroy the sameness that they hate so much.

The way that they will do this is by having Jonas escape to Elsewhere.  Once he leaves, all the memories that he has will somehow be transferred to the minds of the people in the community.  We know this will happen because that is what happened when the previous Receiver was released.  As the community gets all these memories that Jonas has, their society will be forever changed because they will understand about colors and feelings and love and pain and things like that.