What are the specifics of the escape plan?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Jonas learns that people who do not meet the requirements of sameness are executed, he decides that it all has to stop.  Then Jonas finds out Gabe is scheduled to be released, which he now knows means he will be killed.  Jonas and The Giver work together to save Gabriel.

When Jonas is angry that people in the community do not realize what they are doing, The Giver tries to explain to Jonas why people are ignorant.

"I said it because it's true. It's the way they live. It's the life that was created for them. It's the same life that you would have, if you had not been chosen as my successor." (p. 153)

He has to explain to Jonas that people are just doing what they were told to do.  He tells Jonas that they need to make a plan, and Jonas is surprised because he says there is nothing they can do.  The Giver disagrees, reminding him that memories still exist, and people still can feel.  Jonas realizes that if the plan fails, he will most likely be killed.

The plan is that Jonas will leave and never return.  The Giver will stay behind, to help the people understand their memories and come to terms with their new feelings.

"I think that they can, and that they will acquire some wisdom. But it will be desperately hard for them. When we lost Rosemary ten years ago, and her memories returned to the people, they panicked. And those were such few memories, compared to yours. When your memories return, they'll need help. (p. 156)

The Plan is as follows:

  1. In order to make sure that Jonas is strong on his journey, The Giver will send him memories to give him strength. 
  2. Jonas would sneak out the night before the Ceremonies.  They planned the escape to happen during the Ceremonies, so that everyone would be preoccupied and they would not know he was gone until he had a head start.  His parents would not mention he was gone, because it would interrupt the ceremony and reflect badly on them
  3. Jonas would hide his bike and clothes, and sneak to the Annex where The Giver would leave the door unlocked for him.
  4. Once Jonas was safely away, The Giver would go to the auditorium and tell everyone what was going on, expecting confusion and chaos.  He would announce that Jonas drowned, and perform a Ceremony of Loss.

Jonas’s plans are interrupted when Gabriel is scheduled for release.  Jonas flees that night, without saying goodbye.  As he leaves, Jonas calculates the three rules he has broken.

  1. He left his dwelling at night.
  2. He robbed the community of food.
  3. He stole his father’s bicycle (and Gabe).

Jonas knows he will be killed if they catch him, but he does reach Elsewhere (depending on how you interpret the ambiguous ending).


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

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The Giver

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