The Perception of Jonas in Lois Lowry's The Giver

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Set in a community with no climate, emotions, choices, or memories Lois Lowry tells the tale of Jonas in The Giver. Jonas is selected to be the receiver of memory, which means the memories of generations past, before the community was created, will all be transferred to him to hold. As Jonas receives memories his concept of the world around him drastically changes. Jonas starts out as twelve-year-old boy with perceptions different from those around him, he then begins to see the community for what it really is, and he makes a plan to change it. Even as a child Jonas was unusually perceptive, this is characterized through his pale eyes which appear deeper than the other children’s dark eyes. While he gets along well with his peers he still feels different. Jonas has a heightened sense of people and who they are, the reasoning for things, and curiosity of new things. He particularly enjoys the freedom to make his own choices as to where he will serve his volunteer hours. Jonas never volunteered at one place more than another, which made it hard for him to predict what job he will be assigned. He liked being able to experience all sorts of positions in the community. Jonas is set apart in many ways, one is particular is his ability to see beyond. The closer the ceremony of twelve gets, the more often he see sees flashes of items changing for a second, flashes of the beyond (Lowry 94). As December approaches Jonas feels apprehensive because this year his group will be given their assignments (Lowry 9). He is chosen as the receiver of memory. While this position holds high honor it is also a painful load to hold. Jonas will hold all memories of the past. Receiving memories is not like watching a movie, as Jonas soon expe... ... middle of paper ... ...with running from something. Jonas leaves behinds everything he has every known in hopes that community with better from it. Jonas is the protagonist in The Giver. He changes from being a typical twelve-year-old boy to being a boy with the knowledge and wisdom of generations past. He has emotions that he has no idea how to handle. At first he wants to share his changes with his family by transmitting memories to them, but he soon realizes this will not work. After he feels pain and love, Jonas decides that the whole community needs to understand these memories. Therefore Jonas leaves the community and his memories behind for them to deal with. He hopes to change the society so that they may feel love and happiness, and also see color. Jonas knows that memories are hard to deal with but without memories there is no pain and with no pain, there is no true happiness.

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