What are the differences and similarities between Jonas and the Giver?

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Similarities that Jonas‘s world has with the real world include that Jonas lives with his family the way most children do in the real world. He goes to school and looks forward to lunch and recess just as children do in the real world. Jonas also has friends and is closer to certain kids than to others, just like kids in reality. Jonas must take a job after school as most people do in the real world.

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Jonas and the Giver are both attentive to the needs of their society, paying attention to the details that no one else seems to notice. In the beginning of the novel, Jonas is quite concerned because he cannot find just the right word to describe his feelings of apprehension regarding the upcoming Ceremony, and he knows that correct word choice is a value that is important to his community. He follows rules but also deeply thinks about things that others in his age group—and even most of the adults—don't consider. His involvement and interest in all areas of his community is one reason he has no idea what his assignment might be.

While other kids typically spent most of their volunteer hours at one place, Jonas has spent time learning about almost every facet of his society. The Giver shows this same sense of attentiveness from the time Jonas enters the Annex. Later in Jonas's training, the Giver conveys this concern as he thinks about the needs of the society they share:

Sometimes I wish they'd ask for my wisdom more often — there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable — so painless. It's what they've chosen.

Both Jonas and the Giver realize that this "perfect" and painless society isn't perfect at all. They both grow to believe that things could be different and better for everyone.

They differ in how quickly they come to this realization. While Jonas becomes determined to change their society not long after his training begins, the Giver has resigned himself to living this way until Jonas becomes his impetus.

"But why can't everyone have the memories? I think it would seem a little easier if the memories were shared. You and I wouldn't have to bear so much by ourselves, if everyone took a part."

The Giver sighed, "You're right," he said, "But then everyone would be burdened and pained. They don't want that. And that's the real reason The Receiver is so vital to them, and so honored. They selected me – and you – to lift that burden from themselves."

The Giver has resigned himself to the conditions of their society until Jonas begins to reshape his beliefs of what is possible. In this way, Jonas is the more insightful of the two and the one more likely to take action instead of simply wishing for a better way of living.

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The main difference between Jonas and the Giver is the fact that Jonas is the neophyte and the Giver is the wizened old man; they are similar in that they possess sensitivities that other members of the community lack.

The Giver has the weight of experience and knowledge that he must now pass to his Receiver, Jonas. Nevertheless, the older man and the boy share such qualities as heightened perceptual powers, a sense of their difference from others in their society, high levels of intelligence, sensitivity to those around them, concern for other people, and honesty. Yet, while Jonas receives the Giver's memories, he takes them into his mind in a manner different from that of the Giver; that is, he does not readily accept everything. For example, when the Giver speaks to Jonas about the choice to go to Sameness, he explains,

When we...did away with differences....[W]e gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others."
"We shouldn't have!" Jonas said fiercely.
The Giver looked startled at the certainty of Jonas's reaction. Then he smiled wryly. "You've come very quickly to that conclusion," he said. "It took me many years. Maybe your wisdom will come much more quickly than mine."

It seems that the Giver's remark about Jonas's wisdom coming to him more quickly proves true. For after he witnesses his father "release" a baby, Jonas determines that he no longer wants to belong to his society, partly because it threatens Gabriel, whom Jonas loves. Rather than accepting his role and suffering through it as the Giver has, Jonas escapes his fate.

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Jonas and the Giver both have pale eyes and the capacity to See Beyond. However, Jonas has the ability to see in color, while the Giver can hear music. Both characters share the same important role in their community: they hold their society's memories. This is a very stressful job, and these characters are the only two people in the community who have experienced extreme pain and anguish in their lives. Jonas and the Giver differ in age and experience. The Giver is much older and wiser than Jonas. He even had a daughter named Rosemary who chose death rather than the responsibility to bear the pain of the memories. In contrast, Jonas is naive and impulsive. Jonas struggles to understand why the community remains the same but eventually participates in the risky escape plan to save Gabe. Both characters are also courageous throughout the novel. They hold onto the painful memories, risk the well-being of their community to save Gabe, and change the way everybody lives. 

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I think that one of the reasons that Jonas has such an effect on The Giver is because they do have a lot in common.  The obvious similarities are that they both have pale eyes and the Capacity to See Beyond, or special powers.  The Giver hears music while Jonas sees color, but both are abilities associated with emotional expression.  Both of them also believe that the people in the community are perpetuating a terrible and unjust system.

The main difference between the two is age and experience.  The Giver is old, and has had a life of pain and suffering both physical and emotional.  For years, he has held the community’s memories and watched the people continue to live numb lives.  He knows that it’s wrong, but he does not take action- until Jonas spurs him on.

Jonas is as young and naïve as The Giver is old and jaded.  He refuses to accept things the way they are once he learns the truth about the dark side of the community, and he takes action.

Both The Giver and Jonas are brave, because Jonas risks death by trying to escape and The Giver knows that he will suffer when Jonas’s memories are released back to the community.

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What is the difference between the Giver and Jonas, other than age and experience, in The Giver?

Jonas and the Giver are different because The Giver understands what is really happening in the community and Jonas does not.

Jonas and The Giver both have the Capacity to See Beyond, which means that they have the special ability to see and experience the community’s memories.  This is a unique trait that very few members of the community have.  They are also alike in many other ways.  Both are sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic.

The main difference between Jonas and The Giver is that Jonas still believes that his community is perfect.  He has bought the community’s publicity, so to speak.  When he begins his training, he is only twelve years old.

The Giver first has to explain to Jonas that the community is storing memories in the Receiver of Memory.  This is a new concept to Jonas.  It means that things are not exactly what they seem.

"There's much more. There's all that goes beyond--all that is Elsewhere--and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future." (Ch. 10)

Jonas had no idea that his community was killing people regularly in order to keep complete control.  He did not know that release meant death.  Jonas’s community also kept other things from its members.  No one is aware that there once was a past, or that humans can experience emotions.

An example of Jonas’s ignorance and acceptance of the status quo is demonstrated in the conversation he has with The Giver over choices.  In the community there are no choices.  All choices are made by the community.  Jonas does not believe that people should be allowed to choose.

"Definitely not safe," Jonas said with certainty. "What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong?

"Or what if," he went on, almost laughing at the absurdity, "they chose their own jobs?" (Ch. 13)

When Jonas learns what release means, he is horrified.  His bubble has burst.  He can’t believe that his community would do such a thing.  The Giver explains to him that they know nothing.  They are doing what they are told, and what they are used to.  

By the end of the book, Jonas and The Giver are a lot more alike than they are different.  This is because Jonas grows up a lot during the book.  He goes from being a naive and inexperienced child to a young man who understands the reality of human nature in ways he did not think possible.

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What similarities does Jonas‘s world in The Giver have with the real world?

While there are many differences between Jonas‘s world and the real world, there are also similarities. For one thing, Jonas lives with his family the way most children do in the real world. It is true that Jonas’s family is a planned one and not biologically related to one another. Nevertheless, he has parents and a sibling, and the family dines together each night the way many families do in the real world. Jonas also has friends just like kids do in reality, and he is closer to certain kids than to others. Similarly, in the real world, people form friendships with some people and not with others.

In addition, Jonas goes to school just as children do in the real world. Jonas attends classes with other children his age and also looks forward to the lunch break and recess when he can play outside with his friends. Jonas’s school is also different from schools in the real world in many ways. For instance, there is much greater focus on the rules that govern his life and the lives of his classmates. For another, Jonas completes school once he is a “twelve.”

Jonas must take a job after school as most people do in the real world. However, he does not decide for himself what to do after school. He is given an assignment, and he must follow what the Elders of his community decide for his future.

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How do Jonas and The Giver have similar personalities in The Giver by Lois Lowry?

Jonas and The Giver are similar because they are both more sensitive and reflective than other members of their community. 

The Receiver of Memory is a very special position in the community. The person is chosen based on having a very specific list of traits not all citizens are expected to possess. These include intelligence, integrity, courage, wisdom, and the Capacity to See Beyond. 

The Capacity to See Beyond is one of the biggest differences between Jonas and The Giver and their other community members. Both can see and hear things others can’t; Jonas can see color, and The Giver was able to hear music. 

The Giver and Jonas are alike because of the traits for which they were chosen and because of the memories.  Experiencing the memories gives The Giver and Jonas a common ground of experiences. It also helps them better understand human nature. This is an understanding others in Jonas’s community will never have. The memories are kept from them. 

Jonas and The Giver can experience emotions. This sets them apart from the others and gives them something major in common. 

Thinking, as he always did, about precision of language, Jonas realized that it was a new depth of feelings that he was experiencing. Somehow they were not at all the same as the feelings that every evening, in every dwelling, every citizen analyzed with endless talk (Chapter 17). 

Another way Jonas and The Giver's personalities are alike is that both of them want to take action when they see injustice. The Giver is aware of the community’s failings, but it is not until he has a like-minded apprentice in Jonas that he can do something about it. Jonas and The Giver are a lot alike because they are willing to take risks. 

The Giver does not try to stop Jonas from escaping. He offers to help prepare him and says he will need to stay behind to help the community process the flood of memories that will return to them. Jonas and The Giver both want to help their community so people can begin to feel again.

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