The Giver

by: Lois Lowry

Jonas’s Mother

Characters Jonas’s Mother

Jonas’s mother is the stricter of his two parents. She holds a prominent position at the Department of Justice, and her job involves punishing citizens who break the community’s rules. Throughout the novel, she places value on performing to the community’s standards and teaches her children about the honor held by various roles. For example, when Lily innocently suggests the job of Birthmother looks fun, Jonas’s mother responds “very sharply” and explains the laborious nature of the role, indicating that she cannot tolerate the thought of one of her children receiving such a lowly assignment. She also encourages Lily to detach from her comfort object before she’s an Eight, which suggests that Jonas’s mother wants her children to meet every societal expectation for maturity. When Jonas’s father coddles Lily, Jonas and his mother roll their eyes, looking down on the sentimentality of Jonas’s father and Lily. Despite her intelligence and pleasantness, Jonas’s mother doesn’t value all contributions from members of the community equally and judges others based on how well they embody her society’s ideals.