In The Giver, why did Jonas risk the humiliation of public chastisement for taking an apple from the recreation area?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 3, Jonas recalls a time when he was publicly chastised for taking food from the recreation area. Although the speaker did not state Jonas's name, he realized that the announcement was specifically directed toward him. The reason Jonas removed the apple from the recreation area in the first place was because it seemed to change while he was throwing it to Asher. Jonas had randomly selected an apple from the snack basket and threw it at Asher. In the middle of playing catch, Jonas noticed that the apple was changing in mid-air. Jonas was not aware of it at the moment, but he has the Capacity to See Beyond, which essentially means that he has the ability to see in color. Similar to the Giver, who can hear music and melodies, Jonas can see in color, which is considered a unique ability in his highly structured community. The reason Jonas took the apple from the recreation area was because he wished to examine it further to understand why it changed in mid-air.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Jonas was fascinated enough by the apple to be willing to steal it from the recreation area.  When he and his friend had been playing catch with the apple, Jonas had noticed that it seemed to change in midair.  At the time, he couldn't explain that change, but he was very curious about it and wanted to find out more or see if he could make it happen again, so he took the apple home.

Later in the book, when he meets The Giver, Jonas realizes that he is seeing the color red.  This is what the Elders call "the seeing beyond," and in Jonas's case it manifests itself in the ability to see color.  In their society, no one else has the ability to see colors at all; everything is bland and neutral.  But Jonas begins to see the color red in the apple, and later in the faces of the community members and in Fiona's hair.  This is an indication that he will make a good Receiver.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial