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Free Study Guide for The Giver by Lois Lowry

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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES


CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE


Summary


The plan seems workable. Jonas is confident. But, that night everything changes.

That night Jonas leaves the community. He does not have time for any of the plan, not even going to the Annex, to the Giver. He just hopes that the Giver receives his mental message of good-bye.

It had all changed so quickly. At the evening meal, Jonas had found out that Gabriel would be released. The previous night, when Jonas was away, Gabriel had stayed at the Nurturing Center and he did not sleep well. The decision had been made, with Father concurring, that he should be released. It was scheduled for tomorrow.

Jonas crosses the river and leaves the community which has no color, no pain, and no past. He has a little food taken from some of the dinner trays that were waiting to be picked up, his fatherís bicycle with the child seat on it, and Gabriel. He has Gabriel. Gabriel has received a soothing memory to help him sleep through the night. Jonas pedals all night. In the morning, he stops at a stream and removes Gabriel from the child seat. After a meal and a drink from the stream, they sleep in a hidden place throughout the day. Gabriel needs a memory of exhaustion to put him to sleep.

It is now days later. Airplanes are the biggest problem. The planes are searching for them. Jonas and Gabriel travel only at night and sleep in the daytime. Jonas grows stronger.

Because he knows that the planes can use heat-seeking devices, Jonas gives Gabriel memories of snow to lower his temperature. He notices that the memories are becoming weaker. That is as he expected.

Eventually, the planes come less frequently.



Notes


The Giver and Jonas put a lot of thought into their plan. And, now it isnít being used. There was no time for the Giver to pass additional memories of strength and courage to Jonas. But, Jonas is doing well with the strength and courage that he already possesses.

Jonas has broken rules of the community. He has taken food. He has left his dwelling at night. He is also breaking some more important, generally unstated, rules on which his community is based. He is emphasizing the importance of the individual. He is making choices of his own. He is not avoiding pain. This is not to say that he is ignoring the good of the community. What he is doing will also benefit the community. When the memories flow back to them, they will gain.

Jonasís use of memories of snow seems very creative. We feel confident that he has the ability to make it to where he wants to go.

As the memories become weaker for Jonas, they are presumably being received by the community that he left.


CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO


Summary


Now, the road is rougher. It is more difficult to ride the bicycle. Once, Jonas falls and hurts his leg, but Gabriel remains uninjured. Jonas begins to feel that it is safe to ride in the daytime since planes have become a thing of the past.

Once again, Gabriel thinks that he sees a plane. But, it is not a plane. It is a bird. Soon, there are more birds, and animals. These, along with other new discoveries, like wildflowers, give Jonas much joy.

They are no longer near cultivated land. It is becoming more difficult to find food. Jonas and Gabriel are continually hungry.

Jonas begins to think that he made the wrong choice. If he had stayed, he would not be starving now. But, he would have starved for love and for color. Jonas knows that, considering what would have happened to Gabriel, there was really nothing he could have done except leave.

They begin to encounter hills. Because of Jonasís injured leg, and his empty stomach this is not good. Then, they encounter a lengthy rain. Gabriel cries because he is cold, wet, and hungry. Then, Jonas cries because he is worried that he wonít be able to continue to take care of Gabriel.


Notes


Jonas is learning more about the risks involved in making choices. Life is no longer neat. It is no longer painless. And, it can become unexpectedly complicated.

From the description, the place in which Jonas and Gabriel now find themselves could easily be Elsewhere, their destination.

Figuring out how to do something without any training shows resourcefulness. Jonasís fashioning of strips of Gabrielís blanket into a net shows his innate creativity.


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