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Free Study Guide for The Giver by Lois Lowry

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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES


CHAPTER TWENTY


Summary


Jonas refuses to return home after what he found out. The Giver agrees to let him stay with him overnight. The Giver tries to explain to Jonas why people act as they do. ďThey know nothingĒ he says. His father lied because that is what he was told to do. The people in his community, including his father, are living the life that was created for them. Jonas would be the same if he had not been chosen to be the new Receiver.

A terrible possibility hits Jonas. He asks the Giver if he also lies to him. The Giver replies that, although he is allowed to lie, he has not lied to Jonas.

Jonas wants to know if release is always like it was with the twin. The Giver tells him that it is. It is the same with those who break the rules three times. It is the same with the Old. Jonasís thoughts turn to Fiona. She is training in the House of the Old. What will she say when she finds out about release? The Giver tells him that she already knows. Feelings are not part of what she has learned. Jonas does not want to go back to the community.

They order their evening meal and then start a plan. Jonas is skeptical at first about the usefulness of a plan, thinking that planning for change is useless. Change is impossible. The Giver reminds him that things were once different, long, long ago. The Giver has himself been hopeless over the possibility of change, but being with Jonas now for almost a year has caused him to realize that things must somehow change. And Jonas, several hours ago, inadvertently showed him a way.

The plan is developed. Jonas will leave. The Giver will stay with the community because he will be needed. He will be needed if Jonas reaches Elsewhere. At that point, the memories will come back to the community. The community will need the Giverís help as they deal with the memories. And, they need the memories to survive.


Jonas knows that there is a possibility that he will die. But, to him, it is worth the risk. However, he wants the Giver to go with him. They donít need to be concerned about the community. Then he thinks some more and realizes that they must continue to care.

The Giver tells Jonas something that makes him very sad. The Giver no longer sees colors. He has given them to Jonas. The Giver tells him this as an example of why he cannot go with Jonas. He is weak now. Jonas is reminded of what the Giver told him almost a year ago. He told him that, in the beginning, seeing colors was different for him. He questions him about this. The Giver says that when he was young, he did not see beyond like Jonas. Instead, he was able to hear beyond. He heard something called music. Jonas does not want the Giver to share it. He wants the Giver to keep it for himself when Jonas is gone.

The next morning Jonas goes home. He acts as though everything is fine. Lying is easier now. At school he mentally reviews the plan again and again. The Giver will give him memories of courage and strength to help him when he leaves on his journey toward Elsewhere. On the night before the ceremony, at midnight, Jonas would write a note to his parents explaining that he would be back very soon, and leave his dwelling, even though there is a rule against anyone leaving their dwelling at night. He would take some clothing and his bicycle to the river and hide them. After that, he would go to the Annex. The Giver will order a vehicle and the driver will be sent to do something else. The Giver, with Jonas hidden in the vehicle along with some clothing and food, will take Jonas on the first leg of his long journey. Jonasís disappearance wonít be discovered until the midday break of the ceremony because everyone will think that he is with someone else. By then, he will be far away. The bicycle and clothing will be found and the Giver, having returned, will announce that Jonas was lost in the river and begin the Ceremony of Loss. Soon the community will be busy dealing with the memories.

The previous night, when their long planning session was ending, Jonas had once again asked the Giver to make the journey to Elsewhere with him. Once again, the Giver had refused. The Giver has other plans. After he takes care of the community and the community becomes adjusted to the memories, he plans to join Rosemary, who is actually his daughter.


Notes


The Giver tells Jonas that, if he had not been chosen to be the Receiver-to-be, he would be like the rest of the community. At this point, after all the changes he has gone through, it is difficult to remember that.


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