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The Giver


Chapters 19–20

Summary Chapters 19–20

At this point in the novel, Jonas’s emotional reaction to the baby’s death overcomes him, to the point where he ceases to care what happens to the other members of the society. Having grown up acting only for the community’s good, with little thought to any desires that might not serve the community, Jonas now holds the opposite point of view. He only wants to rescue himself and the Giver from the dangerous, suffocating atmosphere of the community. Instead of having no strong emotions at all, he has given himself entirely to his emotions. Now the Giver has to restrain him, using logic to explain that the Giver has to stay to help the community if the plan is to have any effect. When he explains this to Jonas, the Giver demonstrates an ideal blend of logical, orderly thought and human compassion. Jonas and the Giver are acting in the best interests of the community, but they are using their emotions and compassion—things that the community rejects—to help it.