The protagonist of the novel, Jonas is thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate. He feels confused by some of the rules of the community, although he obeys them, and longs for human touch even before he… (read full character analysis)
Known as the Receiver until Jonas becomes his trainee, The Giver is a kind, elderly man whose breadth of experience through memory makes him look and seem older than he actually is. Although he lives… (read full character analysis)
The small fretful newchild whom Jonas's father takes home with him in order to help him sleep at night. Gabriel has pale eyes like Jonas and The Giver, which Jonas later learns are the… (read full character analysis)
A kind, caring man, Jonas's father is a Nurturer who looks after newchildren until they are given to families. He becomes attached to the babies he cares for and breaks small rules for their sakes… (read full character analysis)
An intelligent, practical woman who takes her role as a mother and her position at the Department of Justice very seriously. She tries hard to reform criminals to prevent their "release" and fulfills all her duties as a mother.
Jonas's younger sister who turns eight when Jonas turns 12. She loves telling stories and is the first to suggest that Jonas and Gabriel might be related.
Jonas's fun-loving friend who is assigned the job of Assistant Director of Recreation. Jonas's greatest concern for Asher is that he speaks without thinking and often confuses words, which is a great shortcoming in the community.
The Giver's trainee before Jonas. She asked to be released when she discovered the pain and loneliness of memory. The Giver later reveals that Rosemary was his daughter.
The old woman whom Jonas bathes in the House of the Old. She believes that being released is a joyous occasion.
The elected leader of the community. She knows each child and gives the Assignments at the ceremony.
Committee of Elders
The group of elders that makes decisions for the community, like Matching Spouses, Assignments, and rules. The Giver advises the Committee.
A four-year-old boy who drowned in the river. His parents are later given a newchild with the same name.
An old man who is released from the House of the Old. After his death, his name is given to a newchild.