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Study Guide: The Giver: Characters

List of Characters

Jonas                a boy turning twelve

The Giver          the person who holds the memories of the world

Gabriel              a baby Jonas grows to love, called Gabe

Father               Jonas’s father

Mother              Jonas’s mother

Lily                    Jonas’s younger sister

Asher                Jonas’s best friend

Fiona                Jonas’s friend

Larissa             a woman in the House of the Old

Chief                Elder the leader of the community

Jonas

On the surface, Jonas is like any other eleven-year-old boy living in his community. He seems more intelligent and perceptive than many of his peers, and he thinks more seriously than they do about life, worrying about his own future as well as his friend Asher’s. He enjoys learning and experiencing new things: he chooses to volunteer at a variety of different centers rather than focusing on one, because he enjoys the freedom of choice that volunteer hours provide. He also enjoys learning about and connecting with other people, and he craves more warmth and human contact than his society permits or encourages. The things that really set him apart from his peers—his unusual eyes, his ability to see things change in a way that he cannot explain—trouble him, but he does not let them bother him too much, since the community’s emphasis on politeness makes it easy for Jonas to conceal or ignore these little differences.  Read full character analysis...

The Giver

Like Jonas, who is a young person with the wisdom of an old person, the Giver is a bit of a paradox. He looks ancient, but he is not old at all. Like someone who has seen and done many things over many years, he is very wise and world-weary, and he is haunted by memories of suffering and pain, but in reality his life has been surprisingly uneventful. In the world of the community, the Giver has spent most of his life inside his comfortable living quarters, eating his meals and emerging occasionally to take long walks. Yet he carries the memories of an entire community, so he feels like a man who has done more in his life than anyone else in the world: he has experienced the positive and negative emotions, desires, triumphs, and failures of millions of men and women, as well as animals. He is responsible for preserving those memories and using the wisdom they give him to make decisions for the community.Read full character analysis

 

The Giver - Jonas and Fiona

Jona's father

Jonas’s father is one of the only characters in the novel, besides the Giver and Jonas, who seems to grapple with difficult decisions and complex emotions. Although Jonas’s father does not have access to the memories that give Jonas and the Giver insight into human relationships and feelings, he displays many of the characteristics that were valued in pre-Sameness societies. As a Nurturer, he feels a strong connection with the babies he cares for and a deep concern for their welfare. Although he agrees with Jonas’s mother that “love” is a meaningless, obscure word, the feelings he displays toward the newchildren and his family seem very much like love: he delights in taking care of them and playing with them, he worries about them, and he makes minor and major sacrifices for their benefit, from indulging his daughter’s fondness for her comfort object to bringing baby Gabriel home  Read full character analysis

The Giver - Gabriel

The Library is open 8.00 to 4.30 Mon-Thurs, 8.00 to 3.30 Fri. Extended hours for Year 12 students: 8.00 - 5.30 Mon-Thurs. We also have a selection of games available to play during recess and lunch. Only games from the Library are to be played.