In Lois Lowry's novel The Giver, at what point was the Giver ready to make a plan for change?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By chapter twenty in Lowry's The Giver, Jonas has been receiving memories and sharing feelings with the Giver for about a year. Jonas's ultimate lesson is shown in chapter nineteen when he sees his father "release" a baby who did not meet the society's standards in order to continue living. Jonas is shocked and starts crying over the facts that "release" means to die and that his father lied to him about it. The Giver does his best to calm Jonas down, and as he does, he comes to the realization that maybe it is time to change the way things are. As Jonas and the Giver are discussing the situation of the status quo, the Giver says, "The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared" (154).

Jonas reminds him that they have both been sharing memories lately. It is at this point and realization that the Giver says,

"That's true. And having you here with me over the past year has made me realize that things must change. For years I've felt that they should, but it seemed so hopeless. Now for the first time I think there might be a way. . . and you brought it to my attention, barely. . . two hours ago" (155).

It must also be remembered that the Receiver before Jonas was the Giver's daughter; and, when she found out about the "release" of babies, old people, and "criminals" she went and asked to be released herself. This experience must have played a part in the Giver's decision to make a change as well because Jonas's reaction to this knowledge is also upsetting and going through that outcome twice would be too painful. Ultimately, however, the above-mentioned quote is the point that the Giver realizes that a change must happen.