In Lois Lowry's The Giver, why does Jonas find it unsettling that he and Gabriel have similar eyes?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The baby Gabriel shows up to Jonas's home in chapter three. Lily, his little sister, is the first to notice the difference between her eyes and Gabriel's. She also notices that Gabriel and Jonas have light eyes while most everyone else in the community has dark eyes. It is too early for Jonas to understand color, but the lighter shading of the eyes makes him feel different, which is what the society wants to avoid. Suddenly, Lily expresses what everyone is thinking by saying, "Maybe he had the same birth-mother as you" (21). That sentence provides the biggest connection between Jonas and Gabriel. The fact that they have the same type of eyes could mean that they have the same birth mother. Since no one ever gets to know his/her birth mother, and Gabriel and Jonas have the same shade of eyes, then they might be real brothers. With this knowledge, it would produce feelings that Jonas wouldn't understand and that might be unsettling.