What is Jonas in awe of in Lois Lowry's The Giver?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Jonas comes from a community that lives under the philosophy of Sameness. Everyone wears tunics, is given a bike at 8 years old, takes pills to suppress sensual feelings and must obey the rules or be "released." By living under Sameness, no one has anything different from another person. No one receives extra food; no one is allowed to have preferences; and dwellings are all exactly the same. Architecture and landscapes are also the same. The people of this world do not know any more than what exists in their climate controlled, perfect community.

Once Jonas leaves the community in order to save it, he is outside of its physical boundaries experiencing the natural world. For the first time in his life, Jonas experiences different landscapes and temperatures only experienced before in the memories from the Giver. The description of Jonas experiencing "awe" for the first time is in the outdoors and as follows:

"All of it was new to him. After a life of Sameness and predictability, he was awed by the surprises that lay beyond each curve of the road. He slowed the bike again and again to look with wonder at wildflowers, to enjoy the throaty warble of a new bird nearby, or merely to watch the way wind shifted the leaves in the trees" (172).

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