- "Jonas was beginning to feel frightened. No, wrong word, Jonas thought" (1) - In this quotation, despite the fact that Jonas is clearly unsettled and distracted (or as he determines, apprehensive), he has the self-awareness to thoughtfully be specific in his word choice.
- "Lily's feelings were always straightforward, fairly simple, usually easy to resolve. He guessed that his own had been, too, when he was a Seven" (8). Jonas, rather than disparaging the fact that Lily's 'problems' are incredibly simplistic and immature, empathizes with her and recognizes his own experiences within hers.
- "During the past year, he had been aware of the increasing level of observation" (16). Jonas is aware of his surroundings, and using his context clues (the approaching Ceremony of 12), he is able to conclude the rationale behind the changes within them.
- "Now seeing the newchild and its expression, he was reminded that the light eyes were not only a rarity but gave the one who had them a certain look -- what was it? Depth he decided; [...] he felt self-conscious, realizing that he, too, had that look" (22). Again, Jonas takes a moment in someone else's life and reflects on how/why this would relate to his own. He is constantly finding similarities between his own experiences and those of others.
- "'Larissa,' he asked, 'what happens when they make the actual release? Where exactly did Roberto go?" (33). Rather than accepting a vague but common term, Jonas questions the true meaning behind a banal term whose true meaning turns out to be quite sinister.
- "But Jonas knew, even as he had the thought, that she hadn't. The Chief Elder made no mistakes" (57). Jonas, rather than accepting the simplest explanation, critically analyses its legitimacy and then rejects it, despite the fact that this rejection increases his discomfort.
- "What if others - adults - had, upon becoming Twelves, received in their instructions the same terrifying sentence? What if they had all been instructed: You may lie?" (72) Jonas realizes the impact that this dictum would have on his relationship with everyone else in his community. He finds it deeply disturbing because although the directions were given to him alone, he no longer can trust anyone else who is an adult. Again, Jonas' thoughts reveal incredible empathy.