The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

The Giver book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some character traits of Jonas in The Giver?

Jonas is thoughtful, careful, brave, and empathetic. These character traits, in conjunction with his Capacity to See Beyond, are what lead to him being selected as the next Receiver of Memory.

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,114 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Throughout the novel, Jonas is an insightful, sympathetic, brave individual, who risks his life by saving Gabriel from being released. At the beginning of the novel, Jonas is depicted as a morally upright individual who listens to his conscience and obeys the community's rules. Despite Jonas's intelligence, he is relatively naive about the makeup of his community because he has not been exposed to the truth. After receiving his Assignment to be the community's next Receiver of Memory, Jonas gains some perspective about life and the world around him. Jonas courageously endures painful sessions with the Giver; he experiences the worst memories throughout the world. After witnessing his father execute an infant during a release ceremony, Jonas makes up his mind to flee the community. Instead of selfishly leaving everybody behind to deal with his painful memories, Jonas rescues Gabe and journeys into the wilderness with him. Overall, Jonas's insight, bravery, and empathy are several significant character traits that make him an unforgettable protagonist.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

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.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

sk8teon | Student

 How is Jonas's character  evolving in the novel the giver 

banana26494 | Student

Please tell me answer