The Giver

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The Giver Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next day Jonas's father brings home Gabriel. Although mirrors are rare so that he has only seen his own reflection a few times, Jonas notices that Gabriel has pale eyes like his, while most people in the community have dark eyes. Jonas thinks Gabriel's eyes have depth and are "solemn and knowing."
The absence of mirrors is part of the community's attempt to eliminate individuality. Jonas's response to Gabriel's pale eyes shows how shared differences can create bonds between people.
Themes
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Lily also comments on the newchild's pale eyes, and jokes that maybe Gabriel and Jonas have the same Birthmother. Lily is scolded for her joke, because in the community, it's always considered rude to refer to someone's differences.
The community doesn't want people to notice differences, perhaps because they want to prevent the bonds (or discord) that differences can create.
Themes
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Lily then says she would like to be a Birthmother because Birthmothers eat better food and do little work. Her mother scolds her, saying that Birthmothers never see their newchildren and, after three years and three babies, Birthmothers become Laborers. Jonas's mother comments that there is no honor in either assignment.
By breaking the bond between mother and child, the community severs the most fundamental human emotional connection. It is now clear that the community's aim is to eliminate all of these connections, to eliminate all strong bonds or emotions.
Themes
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Jonas privately recalls when the Speaker made an announcement directed at him, though like all announcements it was phrased so as to avoid singling anyone out. The announcement, directed to male Elevens, said, "snacks are to be eaten, not hoarded," in reference to an apple Jonas had taken home with him. He took the apple because, as he had been tossing the apple back and forth with Asher, he had noticed that the apple seemed to change. But Jonas could not identify how it had changed, and Asher didn't notice any change at all. To study the apple, Jonas took it home. After the announcement, Jonas apologized for taking the apple, but the fact that the way the apple changed was visible only to him still bothers Jonas.
Jonas's ability to see the changing of the apple is another of his unique traits. In a community that values similarity, or as the novel calls it Sameness, these differences set Jonas apart. As of now, since Jonas still thinks of his community as ideal (which is evident when he returns the apple the next day and apologizes), his uniqueness makes him feel uncomfortable. It's scary to stand out.
Themes
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