You have to apply for a spouse. You cannot just chose who you want and marry them, the community does it for you. His dad works as a Nurturer of new children, and his mom works at the Department of Justice. He also has a little sister named Lilly. You can’t have a child on your own, you have to apply for them too. There are mothers that all they do is have children.
Jonas is eleven years old at the beginning of the book. His twelfth birthday is coming up. All the children have their birthday on the same day. It is held at a ceremony. When they turn twelve, they are assigned jobs.
Jonas is assigned the job of Receiver of Memory. Receiver of Memory is a very honored job. The Receiver has to keep the community’s memory. When the community went over to Sameness, what they are now, it eliminated all the memories of pain, war, and emotion.
The memories didn’t disappear totally, someone had to keep them, and that would be Jonas’ new job. The current receiver is an old man that is called The Giver. He transmits the memories to Jonas by placing his hands on Jonas’ back. He transmits memories of good times, as well as bad times. The first memory he transmits to Jonas is of a happy sleigh ride. Jonas receives memories of color, something that is absent from his community.
He realizes how absent his community really is. Jonas hurts inside to tell people in his community what they are missing. The only person that he can really open up to is The Giver. They grew really close, and it became like a grandfather, grandchild relationship.
Jonas is helping his family take care of a problem newborn. His name is Gabriel, he had problems sleeping at the Nurturing Center. Jonas helps Gabriel sleep by transmitting memories to Gabriel. They become really close. Jonas finds out that Gabriel is in danger of being released.
He talks to The Giver and finds out that release means the same thing as death. Jonas gets really mad knowing that his father killed the babies. That was his father’s job. Jonas wants to create a plan to change the community forever. The Giver and Jonas plan for Jonas to escape to elsewhere.
Once he had done that, all his memories would be sent back into the community. The Giver would stay behind and help the community cope with their new feeling, emotions, and thoughts. Jonas is forced to leave earlier because his father tells him that they were going to release Gabriel. Desperate to save Gabriel, Jonas takes his father’s bike and they head off. Little by little, he enters a world of animals, color, weather, and also hunger and exhaustion. They travel a long time until they come into snow and a hill.
They find a sled, the sled from his first memory, and they get on it and ride down the hill. They see lights and Christmas music, and the story ends. .