Jonas’s Memories in The Film Giver Opinion Essay

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The Sled: Symbolizes Jonas’s journey through memories. This also means it’s a symbol of Jonas’s journey of discovery, too, since he only truly learns who he is and learns his place in the world through The Giver’s memories. The sled appears in Jonas’s first memory; he races down a snowy hill in the cold on a sled, and he finds this “exhilarating” and “beautiful.” Then the sled, with Jonas himself upon it, began to move through the snowfall, and he understood instantly that now he was going downhill. The experience explained itself to him”. Jonas learns this after he sees violent memories of war, as well as loss and pain. So like the sled moves Jonas through his first memory, Jonas must propel himself through them. It’s shown in Jonas’s first experience with real pain when he receives a memory of falling off the sled and breaking a limb. This symbolizes the immense pain that comes from being the only keeper of memory. At the end, Jonas finds a real sled on the top of a hill when he and Gabriel are about to freeze to death.They survive and ride the sled downhill into a real town, representing the new reality Jonas has truly become a part of, one of color and sensation, where he can create his own memories

The Comfort Object: Comfort objects are given to the little children at the Nurturing Center before they turn one year old. When the child turns one, he or she is adopted by a family that has applied for a child and been chosen to receive that child. The comfort object is an item meant to give the one year old some kind of comfort during the adoption process. That’s why the object is usually something soft and cuddly. Lily’s comfort object was an elephant and Jonas’s was a bear. The comfort objects are one of the few occasions in the story where the reader sees some emotional softness from the people. Unfortunately, children don’t get to keep their comfort object forever. When a child turns eight, the comfort object is taken away and returned to the nurturing center to be used again. “Lily,” her mother said fondly, “you’re very close to being an Eight, and when you’re an Eight, your comfort object will be taken away. It will be recycled to the younger children.”

Books: The Giver is the keeper of memories and source of information for the entire community; only he needs the records, resources, and learning found in books. They contain the history of people’s thoughts, actions, and conflicts.”….There’s all that goes beyond – all that is Elsewhere–and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future.” Such history has been eliminated from the knowledge of the members of the community. This society is also a closed one so that everyone will remain safe physically and mentally. Many memories of the past are gone to all but the Receiver of Memories. If there is need for knowledge outside the chief of the Elders, the Receiver of Memory is called upon to give them knowledge that may help them from his memories.

Eyes: Most people in Jonas s society have darker eyes. The few that have pale eyes are Jonas, Gabe, a female Six (Katherine), Rosemary, and the Giver. Jonas’ eyes indicate his superhuman ability to see beyond (what is called “The Capacity To See Beyond”). Jonas can see changes in things and people that others cannot see. As a Receiver-in-training, Jonas has to train “alone and apart” from everyone else. So, dark eyes represent sameness in Jonas’ community, while pale eyes indicate uniqueness. To Jonas, colored eyes are fascinating.

When he looks into Gabe’s clear eyes, he feels that they look like mirrors and that there is a certain depth to them that he can’t explain. When he looks into Gabe’s eyes, he seems to be “looking into the clear water of the river, down to the bottom, where things might lurk which hadn’t been discovered yet.” Gabe’s eyes are “pale, solemn, knowing,” as if his eyes show intelligence and insight that most people in the community do not have. Both Jonas and the Giver share the same type of pale eyes. The Giver is responsible for holding memories and then using them to solve the problems when needed. As the Receiver of Memories, Jonas is the next Giver.

Bicycles: The bicycles are a symbol of independence, responsibility, and growing into adulthood for the Nines. “The bicycle, at Nine, would be the powerful emblem of moving gradually out into the community, away from the protective family unit.”(p. 41) Getting a bicycle at age nine is a sign of passage for children in the community. All children secretly practice on siblings’ or friends’ bikes before they turn nine, so that they can ride off on their new bike on Ceremony day” (p. 13). Not only are the bikes their only source of transportation, but it shows how children in that society are all the same. At the same age, they all receive the same things lacking the sense of uniqueness in their society.

Hair Ribbons: Girls under the age of nine wear hair ribbons as part of Sameness, and Nine-year-old girls take them out as a sign of maturing. All children in the community have the same hair styles and the same clothing. They believe that all people should dress the same and look as much alike as possible. Every step in childhood is controlled and measured out. Hair ribbons are worn at the end of braids for eight year olds and younger. Hair ribbons are a bit of an annoyance for Lilly, who has trouble untying them herself, and gets in trouble for having them come untied. She is relieved when she gets to remove them when she becomes a Nine. This is when they get their new ceremonial clothing and make any other transformations, such as in hairstyle.”I don’t like hair ribbons. I’m glad I only have to wear them one more year,” Lily said irritably.

Love: One day, The Giver transmits his own favorite memory of love and happiness, to Jonas. In the memory, Jonas is inside a house, and it is snowing outside. A fire is burning in a fireplace, creating a cozy atmosphere, and colored lights decorate a Christmas tree. People are laughing as they open presents and hug each other. They appear to be very happy. From this memory, Jonas learns about a traditional Christmas celebration and about the concept of grandparents. Most important, he learns about love, which, sadly, “was a word or concept new to him.” That night following the memory, Jonas courageously asks his parents if they love him. They laugh and remind him that he needs to use precise language. They tell him that the word love is too generalized a word, so meaningless that “it’s become almost obsolete.” His mother even asks him if he understands why it is inappropriate to use a word like ‘love.’” astonished by his mother’s response, Jonas again faces the realization that his own parents, as well as everyone in the community, stopped having individual feelings. His parents don’t know what love is. Jonas feels sad because he has experienced love, and love does have meaning for him. At the conclusion of Chapter 16, it foreshadows the future when Jonas whispers to Gabe that life in the community could be different if people would change: “There could be love.”

Pills: In Chapter Five, the family discusses their dreams; normally, Jonas has none to tell about, but this day he relates a dream he has had in which he is at the House of the Old in the bathing room. “She was laughing. But I wasn’t. I was almost a little angry at her, in the dream, because she wasn’t taking me seriously”. After he tells his parents about this feeling, his mother responds that he must take a pill. Jonas recalls that in the Book of Rules there is a reference to them and that a voice over the loudspeaker saying that stirrings must be reported so that treatment can begin. His mother tells Jonas that he must begin taking the pills for the Stirrings just as she and his father do. however, Jonas remembers that he enjoyed and the stirrings and wanted to feel the Stirrings again.

Allusion: is a figure of speech, in which an object or circumstance from unrelated context is referred to covertly or indirectly. It is left to the audience to make the direct connection. Where the connection is directly and explicitly stated by the author, it is instead usually termed a reference.

The Apple: One of Jonas’s first clues that he is different from his peers is when he sees flickers of the color red on an apple he is playing with. The apple is an allusion to the story of Prophet Adam and Hawa in the Quran. The Shaytan in jannah uses an apple to tempt Hawa and Adam to eat from the forbidden Tree. Then Adam and Hawa eat from the tree. As a result, apples often symbolize pleasures of temptation, guilt, and shame but also revelation and freedom

Jonas as Jesus: Jonas’s character can be aludid to Jesus Christ. As the son of God, Jesus’s death is often read as a sacrifice. I think there is a similarity between the lives of Jonas and Jesus. Jonas sacrifices his life in the community in order to share memories with all the citizens, giving them the opportunity to experience the pleasures of life, such as love.

Symbolism: is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense. Symbolism can take different forms. Generally, it is an object representing another, to give an entirely different meaning that is much deeper and more significant.

The River: it is one of the few natural features that still exist in the community. the river itself is ever-changing and uncontrollable, adding small jolts of uncertainty to a community that values predictability and control. For example, the river caused the “loss” of little Caleb, who somehow fell into its waters despite the vigilance of the community. From that point on, the river becomes a representation for death or escape as when The Giver warns Jonas of the dangers to the community were he could get “lost in the river.” The river also flows out and away from the community, providing an indication that there is indeed a way out of the rigid structure of the society there. Jonas sees even more; he looks at the river and sees “all the light and color and history” it contains, and he thinks that “there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going.” Even at the beginning, when Jonas considers the meaning of his and Gabriel’s pale eyes, he imagines that they can see down to the bottom of the river, “where things might lurk which hadn’t been discovered yet.” The river is mystery, unpredictability, and escape, and in that way it becomes a symbol of hope for Jonas.

The Memories:”All I gave you was one ride, on one sled, in one snow, on one hill. I have a whole world of them in my memory. I could give them to you one by one, a thousand times, and there would still be more.” (p. 83) The memories are a symbol of hope. Memory functions in the community much as it does in our world, but differently at the same time. Memories of history are gathered collectively and passed down through those special individuals who are the Giver and Receiver of Memory. The Giver is able to transmit memories to Jonas the way the community was before Sameness.Through the memories, Jonas learns real human emotions. This gives him hope for a better life, for himself and for his people. They give him the courage to leave.

Red: The color red is significant in The Giver. The first time Jonas “sees beyond” is when he notices an apple change color. He also sees color in the faces of the crowd during the Ceremony of Twelve, Fiona’s hair and the sled in the memory. In The Giver, red is a symbolic color. It represents difference, and therefore emotion. All of the objects that are red or turn red are connected to deep emotions for Jonas. Although at first we do not realize the significance of the faces of the community changing color, we later learn that Jonas feels love for the people of his community even though he deeply disagrees with much of what they do. He realizes that they do not know any better, and that he and The Giver have a responsibility to care about them. This is the reason Jonas leaves the community.Finally, the red sled is a powerful memory. The sled being red connects another emotion, pain, to the feelings of love that are associated with the color red. Love is a strong emotion that can cause pain, although not the physical pain of the sled. While the people in the community do not see the color red, a strong emotion, or any other color, representative of other emotions, Jonas does see and he does feel. He realizes that to be human, one must see and feel even if it is painful.

Grey: In the book the society Jonas lives in lacks emotions and pain.It is also absent in color. Even the people are all the same. In order for the people to live their lives as a common society without the experience of pain and suffering they have given up memories. If a person has no memories, he has nothing to think back on that can cause him harm. However, the existence of the people is dull and unenlightened. Grey Symbolizes darkness and hopelessness. It demonstrates the only color that Jonas community experiences. The introduction of color is very significant to the plot as it demonstrates that Jonas is absorbing the memories as they are transferred to him. The Giver states to Jonas: “Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.”

Samness:sameness refers to everyone in the community thinking and feeling the same things. Intense and passionate emotions are absent in this place because they can often make us uncomfortable and cause discord between individuals who feel differently. If everyone thinks the same way about everything, then there is never going to be any disagreement over basic ways of life, community values and priorities, government, community leadership, and so on. It would certainly make life a great deal easier if everyone were brainwashed and programmed to think and feel alike because there would be no wars, no terrorism, no political fights, and no disagreement about anything.However, diversity of opinion is lost as is the ability to feel wonderful, intense feelings.

Theme Statement: When Individuals are raised in a society lacking uniqueness they are doomed to have a bleak future.


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Jonas’s Memories in The Film Giver Opinion Essay. (2020, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/jonass-memories-in-the-film-giver/

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