The Giver by Lowry

December 14, 2010
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The Giver Epic Essay

Jonas watches as the blank screen starts to show a picture of a room that had a bed, a table with medical equipment, and a scale. His father was in the room as two identical baby twins were brought into the room by two assistants. His father laid both twins down and talked to each gently as he weighed them on the scale. The first one weighed five pounds ten ounces while the other weighed an even six pounds. Then, the assistants came into the room and Jonas’ father gently gave one of the assistants the larger baby and the other was still lying on the bed. The assistants left the room and Jonas’ father was standing over the small twin talking in a gentle voice while retrieving a syringe and a small bottle. In The Giver, Jonas has the right qualities to be an epic hero.

Jonas has characteristics about himself to be an epic hero. Jonas had a remarkable childhood. First, unlike all the other children he can see the color red. When he and his friend were throwing an apple he kept seeing it ‘change’: it was changing colors from gray to red. Also, He was chosen as the Receiver of Memory which is very rare in the community. This only happens when a child is ‘different’ from the others in things like what they see or their feelings like love or sorrow. Also, Jonas has types of ‘powers’ in his world which are natural in our world. He can see all the colors while everyone else sees gray. His first memory is of him riding down a hill on a red sled which shows again that he can already comprehend the color red. Also, He has memories and knowledge of feelings like love, sorrow and happiness. “One of the children raised an imaginary rifle and made an attempt to destroy him…Don’t play it anymore Jonas pleaded…it’s a cruel game…Of course Asher couldn’t understand.”(Pg. 134-135, Lowry) Only Jonas knew what war was and understood all of the pain and suffering it caused.

Jonas goes on a quest just like most epic heroes. He had a task that was to save everyone from the government’s form of equality. When he did this he saved all of the people in that city from being controlled to having a normal life. “My work will be finished when I have helped the community to change and become a whole.” (pg. 162, Lowry) When Jonas escapes the community would be helped and returned to a whole. Also, Jonas goes on a quest to save his city. He has to leave his city returning all of the memories back to all the people and he saves a child named Gabriel by taking him with him and keeping him alive. This saves his city and Gabriel from living a naïve life or in Gabriel’s case death.



Jonas’ father then fills the syringe with the clear liquid in the bottle and sticks the needle in the vein in the middle of the little twin’s head while the baby is squirming and kicking. He empties the syringe into the baby and throws it away in the waste basket while the baby is still kicking and crying. Then, slowly the baby goes limp and is quiet. Jonas’ father raps it up in a small blanket and slides it down a shoot and the screen goes blank as his father is cleaning up. Jonas is shocked at seeing his father supposedly “Release” one of the twins because it was smaller than the other. Throughout this story Jonas discovers the truth about life and his community. He successfully escapes changing everyone’s perspective in the community from “Sameness” and a severe attempt at equality to just the opposite and returning “life” back into the community.





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