The Giver – Jonas’ Characterization




“You may lie” is one of the things that should never be said in the world of The Giver. The Giver is a novel about a dystopian future where the government controls the people by controlling their individual freedom. This dystopia is enclosed, and the people do not know anything about the world except for their community. The author Lois Lowry depicts Jonas, the protagonist, as a character that undergoes an extreme change from beginning to end.

Jonas’ perspective and views change according to what he has experienced through time and who he encounters. At the beginning of the story, Jonas appears ignorant and unconcerned about his monotone lifestyle. Of course, he is just a child during this part of the book. Jonas has grown up with the precision of language, and a family that is not biologically related. He has accepted this way of life because he does not know any other lifestyle or way of living. Throughout the book, Jonas’ viewpoints, personality, appearance, and how others see him change drastically. After he was chosen to be ‘The Receiver,’ his road to adulthood started.
Specifically, in his training, when his mentor tells him that he may lie. “His mind reeled. Now, empowered to ask questions of utmost rudeness-and promised answers-he could, conceivably (though it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps: ‘Do you lie?’ But he would have no way of knowing if the answer he received was true.” (page 71) This shows that the new rules that Jonas is given are incredibly out of order to what he believed in. He also starts doubting the people around him and eventually coming to a point where he is miserable that no one in Sameness community loves each other or has a real loving relationship with another.

“Do you love me?”

There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. “Jonas. You, of all people. Precision of language, please!”

“Do you understand why it’s inappropriate to use a word like ‘love’?” Mother asked.

Jonas nodded. “Yes, thank you, I do,” he replied slowly.

It was his first lie to his parents.” (page 127)

Jonas’ appearance should also change as he gets older and older through the book, growing from a little 12-year-old to a full grown teenager. He has Blue-Grey eyes, as opposed to the brown eyes that the rest of the community has, indicating his uniqueness and his importance in The Giver. Otherwise, his short brown hair and structured face remain the same throughout the story, showing that he is not a total outsider. Other than his appearance, the people around him change too. Because of him becoming more and more introverting and miserable, Jonas loses his friends, all he has is The Giver. This, of course, makes everyone see him as weird and an outsider, pushing him further and further away. “He felt such love for Asher and for Fiona. But they could not feel it back, without the memories.” (page 135)

Because The Giver is a dystopian book about a perfect world, many novels could be compared to The Giver. Anthem is a great book to compare to The Giver though. This is because both societies were engineered to be “perfect.” In Anthem, they were basically robots. Both in The Giver and in Anthem the main characters become more aware of how everyone is the “same,” because of how scientists and the government teamed up and designed a way to keep everyone and the earth safe both these characters seek a way “out” of their society. Prometheus believes in individualism and rejects the community around him. He is self-centered and vain, durable, and intelligent. He is curious and desires the freedom to explore and think, and he is not afraid of the “society” of mindless drones around him. You can primarily relate this to Jonas as he is all of these things. At the end of the book, the only thing that Jonas can think of is that he has to get out of the community, not only for himself but to help the people by returning their memories to them. This just shows how selfless Jonas becomes from being an ignorant child to a self-aware man.

Les revues révolutionnaires de Charles Aguillon – The Revolutionary Journals of Charles Aguillon

These journals,  written from 1789 to 1793, are an account of the French Revolution through the eyes of an astronomer called Charles Aguillon. It shows his child Phillip growing up during the revolution and their experiences in it, including the Tennis Court Oath (where a new constitution for France was created), Storming of the Bastille (where French Revolutionists invade the Bastille) and the execution of the two monarchs King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. The Terror – a period where the Committee of Public Safety slaughtered anyone who defied the revolution –  was led by Maximilien Robespierre a Revolutionist as well as a politician and lawyer. These journals show the different perspectives on the Revolution, the ignorant astronomer, the crowds of angry people, or the crying queen getting ready to be beheaded.

La Révolution française en anglais clair – The French Revolution in plain English!

This project was made by Paris Chang and I.  This video should portray the hardships that happened in the Revolution and inform the watcher about the main occurrences in the French Revolution like the Constitution that were created and the violent Reign of Terror. This should all give a basic impression of what happened in the French Revolution In this assignment, we were assessed on Collaboration, Fluent Speaking and Communicating Historical ideas.

The Red Necklace Theme

The Red Necklace is a fictional novel about the French Revolution written by Sally Garden. This book has a few important characters, but Sido (a young teen girl being oppressed by her father) and Yann (a telepathic young teen boy that is on the run). Yann is a circus performer that is brought up by a dwarf called Tito, Tito and Yann get into trouble during a circus act performing for Sido’s father. This is where he meets Sido, the girl of his “dreams”. Tito is murdered and Yann is on the run and ends up in London, meanwhile Sido is treated more like a servant and less like a daughter by her oppressive rich Second Estate father. Years after their first meeting, Sido is put into prison by the revolutionaries in France that hated the people of nobility. Yann comes back to save her and events occur that causes Sido and Yann to split at the end of the book, creating a great cliffhanger for the second book!

I think the theme in The Red Necklace is that love is a chain that holds back people from their destiny. When Tito dies, instead of moving on, Yann hangs on to his death for very long, being incredibly stubborn and not wanting to get a new life in London. He also holds on to his love for Sido for so long, that it holds him back from improving his life and moving on from her. “He stroked Sido’s cheek and bent down to kiss her, whispering what his heart had always known, what he had never said before to anyone. ‘I love you, I always will.” This shows how his love for her will forever keep him from having the life he dreamed of because Sido will always be somewhere where there is trouble. This theme also includes Sido’s love for her father, who does not love her in the slightest and calls her “an imperfect thing in his perfect world”. Showing how she should try to move on from her oppressing father and let go of him.