Characters

Our characterizations for Lois Lowry's young adult novel The Giver (1993) paint a portrait of the dystopian narrative's major characters. We offer a detailed characterization of the two main characters, Jonas, the new chosen Receiver of Memory and the old Giver, as their warm and caring relationship forms the central element of the story. The community in which they live is also discussed.

Jonas is an intelligent boy, thirsty for knowledge, hardworking, and dutiful. He initially abides by the rules, but also questions the conditions and processes of his community. As he gathers new knowledge through the transmitted memories, he starts to become rebellious. He begins to break the social rules and tries to change the conditions of his community, although he is not able to do so.

Jonas learns to feel emotions and begins to love the Giver like a father. He gains insight into what releasing means. When he learns that his family's foster son is scheduled to be released, he flees to save the baby's life. When his escape actually succeeds, his memories return to the members of the community.

The old Receiver of Memory feels too tired to run away with Jonas. He wants to stay in the community to help the unprepared people who will soon be flooded with new knowledge. He has been living in isolation for many years now and is exhausted from having to carry the burden of all the memories in the world. In the year that he has trained Jonas, he has already been greatly relieved. Every time he has transmitted a memory to his student, he has forgotten it himself.

Jonas' father and mother as well as his sister Lily are also discussed because they play a central role in Jonas's life. Furthermore, we also focus on Jonas’s friends Asher and Fiona as well as on Rosemary, the original successor of the Receiver of Memory. Finally, we discuss the newchild Gabriel, whom Jonas' father brings home and with whom Jonas forms a special bond. An overview of the main traits of all the characters can be found in our profiles.

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