What are some character traits of Jonas in The Giver?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jonas is thoughtful, careful, and has the Capacity to See Beyond that makes his susceptible to being a Receiver of Memory.

Jonas is different from other eleven year old boys in the community.  For one thing, he has the Capacity to See Beyond.  He does not know this until the Ceremony of Twelve, when he is selected as Receiver of Memory.

[The] current Receiver has told us that Jonas already has this quality. He calls it the Capacity to See Beyond." (ch 8, p. 63)

Jonas is thoughtful.  Unlike others in his community, he does not just accept the way things are.  He is able to wonder and question.  This is important when he is faced with training as the Receiver of Memory, and learns that his community is not the perfect place he thought it was.

Jonas is careful about most things. Like other children, he has been taught to be careful with language so as never to lie or unintentionally offend someone.  Jonas is “careful about language” (ch 1, p. 3).

Jonas feels uncomfortable because he has pale eyes, and there are few children in his community that do.  He does not realize that this is a genetic connection that allows him the Capacity to See Beyond until he experiences an apple changing color.  He later learns that this means he has the ability to see color.


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