Study Guide

The Giver Chapter 3 Summary

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Chapter 3

  • Jonas' Father brings home the sick baby, Gabriel, who Lily remarks has "funny eyes" just like Jonas.
  • "Funny" turns out to mean "light-colored"; almost everyone is the community has dark eyes, except for a very few, like Jonas and Gabe. Jonas knows that it's rude to point out when people are different. Looks like Lily doesn't. She wonders aloud if maybe Gabe and Jonas had the same birth mother.
  • Jonas' Father puts away his bicycle, and we're now pretty sure that there are no cars in this community. Just bikes.
  • Jonas thinks that light eyes make a person look as though he has "depth."
  • Lily thinks Gabe is just so adorable she could eat him up; she says she wishes she could be a Birthmother.
  • From her Mother's reaction, it's pretty clear that being a Birthmother is right on par with eating out of garbage cans. The rules say that someone can be a Birthmother for the duration of three pregnancies, but the rest of their life is hard labor. They're really just human incubators.
  • While Lily coos over the baby, Jonas sits at his desk and does homework. He thinks about the loudspeakers, which always make general announcements aimed at individuals. For example, Lily's hair ribbons are untied, so there will likely be an announcement that says, "This is a reminder that hair ribbons should remain tied." He remembers being chastised this way when he was younger.
  • That incident had to do with his taking an apple home from school, so the announcement was about not hoarding snacks.
  • But that's not the point of this story. Jonas remembers why he took the apple home in the first place. He and Asher were playing catch with the apple when "it changed."
  • Okay…changed how?
  • Jonas isn't sure. He just knows that it changed. It stayed the same shape, the same "nondescript shade" as his shirt, the same size—but somehow, and he can't describe it exactly, it changed. Four times it changed, only momentarily each time. Asher didn't notice anything unusual, though.
  • So that's why Jonas took the apple home: to see what was different about it. He couldn't find anything.

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