What happened to Jonas in The Giver? The Giver: Book vs. Movie

2014 saw the release of Phillip Noyce’s dystopian drama film The Giver, which starred Jeff Bridges, Emma Tremblay, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Cameron Monaghan, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift.

The 1993 young adult novel of the same name by Lois Lowry served as the basis for the movie. August 11, 2014, marked the premiere of The Giver, which opened in theaters on August 15, 2014, in the United States. 

On a $25 million budget, it made $67 million at the box office and was nominated for a People’s Choice Award in the “Favorite Dramatic Movie” category.

What happened to Jonas in The Giver?

Jonas made it out alive.

But The Giver’s follow-up makes the conclusion of the first book more clear. Gathering Blue makes it clear that Jonas and Gabriel made it out alive. They went on to play significant roles in their new neighborhood.

What does the ending mean?

At the end of The Giver, Jonas rejects the sameness ideal that his community holds. He decides to save Gabriel and flee the town, and as they make their way through a strange wintry environment, they progressively become weaker.

What happened to Jonas in The Giver

Jonas discovers a sled at the top of a hill and uses it to descend toward a neighborhood with lit windows and music playing. Because the reader can choose to see the sled as a lucky coincidence or as a hallucination from Jonas’s dying mind, Lowry fails to explicitly state that both survived. 

The ending’s ambiguity emphasizes how erratic and intense emotions can be. Living in a community offers its residents the advantage of a comfortable and predictable lifestyle. Because the elderly are released on schedule and are constantly monitored, death itself rarely occurs suddenly. But this protection from the emotion that this predictability offers also makes people emotionally numb.

Jonas and Gabriel may experience increased emotional pleasures again if they reject the community, but they also experience increased pain and uncertainty.  

Now that they have the freedom to choose, nobody can ensure their success. Thus, it is necessary to maintain the possibility that Jonas sees the sled and the distant lights in his dreams. However, the tone of the last two paragraphs remains hopeful.

Jonas feels love toward his family and friends, hears music for the first time, and feels “certainty and joy” as he believes himself to be going somewhere better. Their independence is a great victory in and of itself, even if Jonas and Gabriel do not make it out alive.

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