“The Giver” Study Guide: Analysis of Main Characters

“The Giver” Study Guide: Analysis of Main Characters
Page content


Jonas is one of the main characters of “The Giver.” Three words can describe his character: intelligent, determined and passionate. Although these traits are rare in the community in which he lives, they make him perfect for the role of Receiver.

Jonas’s pale-colored eyes and his ability to see color for short flashes of time set him apart from his peers, and he is mildly concerned with these differences in the beginning of the book. He also wishes that he could feel closer to other people, and he cares about his friends and family – a concept that is foreign to many in his society.

In time, he becomes passionate about the memories and the emotions that they evoke, and he feels increasingly frustrated towards his society. In the end, he combines his traits of determination, intelligence and passion to escape with Gabriel to Elsewhere.

The Giver

The Giver is the ultimate teacher. He is patient, calm and wise, and he is able to deal with the strong feelings of others. He is very strong emotionally, evidenced by his ability to absorb all of the community’s memories and emotions and go on living. Because he is so nurturing, he feels ready to help the entire community absorb the memories when Jonas escapes to Elsewhere.


Jonas’s father brings home Gabriel, a “newchild” who is having trouble sleeping at night. He is a pleasure during the day, however, and Jonas becomes attached to him.

Jonas’s Father

Jonas’s father has been brought up to maturity in a society that does not value love or compassion. Therefore, although he does seem to love the newchildren under his care (he is a Nurturer of newchildren), he is unable to feel true compassion for them or to understand the pain of releasing them. He is extremely loving and caring to his two children and to the newchildren, but he does not verbally recognize the value of love or caring, viewing them as abstract concepts.

These are the main characters of “The Giver” whom Lowry develops. Other characters include Jonas’s mother, his friends Fiona and Asher and his little sister Lily.


This post is part of the series: The Giver: Novel Study Guide

If you’re reading Lowry’s utopian classic, take a look at these articles on “The Giver.” Novel it may be, but it can also provoke thought and discussion.

  1. A Brief Summary of “The Giver,” by Lois Lowry
  2. The Giver Character Analysis
  3. “The Giver” Study Guide: Literary Elements