In The Giver, why did Jonas refer to Gabe as his little brother?

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teachersmith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Even though Gabe and Jonas are not biologically related, or in the same family group, Jonas feels that the bond they have created is fraternal.  As Jonas learns more about the world around him, he discovers that the society he serves is a dystopian nightmare that slaughters the old and the unfit.  Jonas is losing his innocence, but he sees that innocence reflected in Gabe, who is not yet old enough to make these discoveries himself.  If they survive in the wilderness, Jonas will be able to teach Gabe the truths he has learned.  Thus, the evils of the community they left will not sully Gabe, and he can remain the innocent being he has always been.  As adopted children can attest, biology is not the sole link to a family; teaching and raising a child can also create this bond.  The family groups that society creates are shams of real family dynamics.  Jonas has the opportunity to break through the facade and truly connect to another human being.  As such, they are brothers.