May 1st IRJE

In the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, Chapter one starts off with the introduction of the protagonist, Jonas, an 11 year old boy who lives in a town where supplies are airlifted to a spot across the river from their community. A year ago, there was an unexpected plane that landed, and everyone was scared. The speaker of the community announced that the pilot has been punished by releasing him.  Jonas knows that the word is only used with caution, and that no one jokes about it.  Later in the chapter, Jonas family engages in their nightly “telling their feelings”, where Jonas sister Lily talks about a visitor in school who did not obey the rules, and thought that they behaved like animals. His father, who is a nurturer talks about a baby boy that is not developing as he should be, and that the baby may be released. Lily then jokes about keeping the baby, but then gets scolded by her mother telling her to remember the rules: only one male and one female child can be assigned to each family.

“It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.”

This passage is really interesting. As the first sentence of the book, it is ambiguous. Having the first initial setting of the plot being near the end of the year, might be symbolically hinting that the protagonist Jonas is facing the end of an era in his life. At the same time, winter acts as the foreshadow to the time frame of of the novel. In the second half of the sentence, it gives an ominous sense. Jonas instinctive description of fear darkens the tone of the story, preparing us for the eventual revelation of the dystopian communities true nature.


One thought on “May 1st IRJE”

  1. Jasper, you do a good job setting up the quotation and commenting on its significance. To improve, remember that block quotations a) should be at least 40 words long, b) are not enclosed by quotation marks, and c) need to be followed by a page citation.


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