What are some internal or external conflicts that Jonas encounters in The Giver?

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Some conflicts in The Giver include an external conflict between Jonas and his society, an inner conflict of Jonas versus himself, and various external conflicts with others in his society as Jonas gains information about the past that they lack.

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The central conflict of The Giver is Jonas versus his society. Although he accepts his society's rules without question early in the novel, through his work with the Giver, Jonas realizes that the decisions made for citizens are not as fair as they are created to be. In chapter 19, when he learns that his father kills newborns, putting young Gabriel in danger of actual death, it is almost too much for Jonas to bear. He realizes that he and the Giver are the only ones who experience true feelings because they are the only ones who share the memories of the past. This is pivotal in Jonas's decision to try to create a new future for the people of their world.

The decision to leave, allowing the memories to be returned to their community, creates a conflict of Jonas versus himself. In chapter 20, he doubts himself and wants the Giver to come with him. The Giver reminds him that the people will need someone to guide them through the pain of feelings they have never had to process. Jonas begs the Giver to come with him but comes to accept that the Giver needs to remain behind in order for their plans to work and in order to create the new world they desire.

Because of his growing sense of knowledge, Jonas sometimes experiences conflict with others that they don't even know about. For example, in chapter 17, when Jonas learns about war and death, he suddenly sees their recreational shooting games in a new way, and Asher doesn't understand his friend's refusal to play:

"You ruined it," Asher said in an irritated voice.

"Don't play it anymore," Jonas pleaded.

"I'm the one who's training for Assistant Recreation Director," Asher pointed out angrily. "Games aren't your area of expertness."

"Expertise," Jonas corrected him automatically.

"Whatever. You can't say what we play, even if you are going to be the new Receiver." Asher looked warily at him. "I apologize for not paying you the respect you deserve," he mumbled.

"Asher," Jonas said. He was trying to speak carefully, and with kindness, to say exactly what he wanted to say. "You had no way of knowing this. I didn't know it myself until recently. But it's a cruel game. In the past, there have—"

"I said I apologize, Jonas."

As Jonas continues to receive memories, he finds that the people around him increasingly generate feelings of conflict, yet they can't be held responsible because they simply have no knowledge base from which to make decisions.

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There are many types of conflict in the novel The Giver (written by Lois Lowry). There are examples of both internal conflict, which is conflict taking place within one's own mind, as well as external conflict, which is conflict that occurs between people or groups of people.

An example of internal conflict is when Jonas decides not to take his pill for the stirrings. This occurs on page 129. This is an example of internal conflict, because Jonas understands that the rules of his society state that he must take this pill every day. He believes that this pill is ruining his ability to feel emotions and knows that this is more important than society's rule.

The biggest example of internal conflict that Jonas faces in this novel is when he and the Giver make the plan to have Jonas leave the community in order to restore the memories to the people. This plan begins to take shape in chapter 20, on page 152. Jonas struggles because he is unsure whether or not he is making the right decision. This type of conflict is between Jonas and himself.

External conflict is present throughout this entire novel. Jonas struggles with the rules of his society. Jonas does not agree with the community's decision to go to "Sameness". This is found on page 95 for the first time. Jonas believes that his world should have color, weather, and feelings. This external conflict eventually ends with Jonas leaving his community. This conflict is Jonas against his society.

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Jonas faces many conflicts.  His first conflicts are Jonas vs. society, in which he questions the world he lives in.  Jonas' first conflict can be found on page 95, when he begins to question the community's decision to go to Sameness.  He decides that he disagrees, though at this point he doesn't have the knowledge he needs to back up his opinion.  For the first time in the book, Jonas has an opinion that differs from what he has been taught by the community.  These types of conflicts continue and deepen as Jonas learns about decisions (p. 97-99), different races (p. 100), grief and death (p. 100), and pain (p. 107-108). Jonas finally comes to the conclusion that there should be no Giver or Receiver, and that Sameness should no longer be (p. 112-113).  These are all examples of conflicts between Jonas and the society in which he lives.

Jonas also has conflicts with himself.  His first one in the book comes when he gives away a memory to Gabriel.  He struggles over whether to tell the Giver and finally decides not to because he feels that it might somehow be wrong (p. 117).  He also struggles with not wanting to be the Receiver (p. 121) and frustration at not having a family that knows "love" (p. 127).  He tells his first lie as well (p. 127).  After learning about what "release" means, Jonas feels rage and doesn't want to return to society (p. 154).  Jonas' final big conflict in the book comes when he and the Giver make plans for Jonas to leave the community and he carries out those plans.  He struggles with whether or not he is making the right decision, and whether or not to bring Gabriel, but finally decides that yes, he is making the right decision and goes forward.

The page numbers given are from my copy of the book.  It's the Dell Laurel-Leaf Reader's Circle edition, copyright 1993. Your book may have different page numbers.

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The primary conflicts in this novel are Jonas versus society and Jonas versus himself.  Jonas experiences conflict with himself as he starts asking questions about the world in which he lives, one of the first of which was a question directed to his parents.  He asked if they really loved him, and received an answer so nonchalent that it created more unrest within him.  When Jonas begins to work with the Giver, it creates even more conflict within himself as to his purpose in society and what he might be missing.  Finally, a turning point of sorts occurs when Jonas learns that "release" is synonymous with death, an unfortunate bit of information he picks up when he observes his father euthanizing an infant at work.  Fearful that his father will do the same to Gabriel, Jonas is forced to face his conflict with society and within himself in a life-changing decision. 

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