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Jonas' New Found Feelings Essay

857 words - 4 pages

Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Similarly, in The Giver, a dystopian novel written by Lois Lowry, Jonas, a twelve year old boy lives in a “perfect” community. Through the memories Jonas receives of the past from the Giver, he learns that feelings must be felt with the heart, and that they cannot be touched or seen. Jonas’ understanding of feelings develops dramatically after he receives memories from the Giver. Throughout the novel, Jonas learns the true meaning and importance of feelings and compassion, and he evolves from being shallow boy to being compassionate and empathetic young man.
Before Jonas receives memories, he reveals his shallowness through his pointless arguments with his sister, Lily, and his inability to feel real feelings. For example, when Jonas and his family unit are having their evening telling of feelings, Jonas recalls how he and Lily would sometimes “argue[d] over turns, over who would get to go first” (5). This recollection displays that Jonas does not know how to be considerate, and let his younger sister go first. Therefore, he is unable to show selflessness and compassion. Furthermore, Jonas also displays his shallowness when he was remembering how he was frightened about the plane passing over The Community (1). Since Jonas has never truly felt feelings, he is unable to know what it feels like to be truly frightened. This shows that he is shallow, because he is isolated from all emotions; he has never experienced real feelings, only what he thinks to be real feelings. Overall, Jonas is shallow before receiving memories, but, he becomes more compassionate after receiving memories from the Giver.
After Jonas receives memories from the Giver, he becomes more compassionate, and he displays his compassion through his new ability to truly feel feelings and his determination to save Gabriel. For instance, when Lily says that she was angry because someone broke the play rules, Jonas realizes that “Shallow impatience and exasperation, that was all Lily felt. He knew that with certainty because now he knew what anger was. Now he had, in memories had experienced injustice and cruelty, and he…” (131-132). Jonas now recognizes that feelings have no quick comfort, and that feelings do not have to be told, they were felt. He now understands what it feels like to have real emotions, like happiness, anger, sadness, and love. Jonas also showcases his...

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