The Giver

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The Giver Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Crying because of what he just saw, and because he now realizes that his father lied to him about what would happen to the newchild, Jonas refuses to go home. He spends the night in The Giver's room. Jonas asks The Giver if he too has lied to him, and The Giver tells Jonas he has not. He tells Jonas that release is the same procedure for babies as it is for the Old and for criminals. Jonas wonders what Fiona will say when she finds out that her job involves killing people. The Giver says Fiona already knows.
Fiona, although patient and kind, can't understand death any more than Jonas's father can. Jonas has now been betrayed by the two people he loves most, other than The Giver. His refusal to go home for the night symbolizes his inability to go back to his own life, burdened with terrible knowledge no one can understand.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas demands that they do something to stop the community from living in ignorance. The Giver argues that change is hopeless, and that the other people of the community don't feel what he and Jonas do. Finally, though, he admits that Jonas's presence over the past year has convinced him that maybe they can do something together.
Jonas is finally giving something back to The Giver—the courage to act.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas and The Giver hatch a plan: Jonas will escape from the community, so that all of his memories will return to the people of the community. Jonas begs The Giver to escape with him, but The Giver refuses, saying he is too old and weak, and that he will be needed to help the people cope with the painful memories left behind. Jonas realizes that The Giver is right to care about the people of the community even if they aren't capable of caring about him. He further realizes that the reason he and The Giver have made this plan is because they both care about the people of the community.
The Giver commits his final act of selflessness—giving up his own future for the good of the community. Jonas now takes the next step on his journey toward maturity, gaining the capacity to love others even without being loved in return. He is leaving the community not to save himself, but instead to save the community from itself, to free the people of the community from their numb robotic lives.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Giver tells Jonas he is not able to see colors anymore because he has given them all to Jonas. But he has one more skill he has been keeping to himself, called hearing-beyond. He calls it music and offers to give the memory to Jonas. Jonas refuses. He prefers that the The Giver keep his memories, because they are so precious to him.
The Giver has sacrificed his most precious memories for Jonas and is still willing to give more. But Jonas responds with his own selfless act. In this way, Jonas and The Giver show their love for each other.
Themes
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Get the entire The Giver LitChart as a printable PDF.
The giver.pdf.medium
The Giver and Jonas decide that over the next two weeks, The Giver will transmit as many memories as he can to Jonas, while also storing food and supplies. On the morning of the annual Ceremony, Jonas will leave his bicycle by the river. Meanwhile, The Giver hides Jonas in the trunk of a vehicle and drives Jonas a ways to give him a good start on his escape. When people discover Jonas is missing, and then find his bicycle by the river, they'll think that he's drowned.
So far, Jonas has made choices to break rules of the community that affect only himself. Now he is making a larger choice from which he will be unable to hide: he is going to try to change the community. This is a courageous choice with consequences that will cut him off from the community.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver will stay behind and help people cope with their new memories. He tells Jonas that after this work is finished, what he wants most is to be with his daughter, Rosemary.
The Giver yearns for the release of death and the peace it brings, suggesting that he believes in a kind of Elsewhere in death.
Themes
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon