The Giver

Does Jonas make it to Elsewhere?

Chapter 21-23

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Yes, Jonas makes it to Elsewhere. The final paragraphs of the novel gain an increasingly magical quality, as Jonas suddenly feels joyful while also Hearing Beyond and perceiving music for the first time. Simultaneously, he finds the familiar sled of his first transmitted memory, which promises to take him beyond the hill to a place that he has only sensed in his dreams. It is unlikely that the sled is real, so it is doubtful (but a possible interpretation) that Jonas survives his ordeal and finds the Elsewhere that he has always hoped would exist. More likely, he is succumbing to hallucinations and eventually to death. One might compare the conclusion of the novel to that of Herman Hesse's Magister Ludi, in which the priest-like protagonist in a highly scientific future time also leaves the security of his normal life for an experience of the real world, which quickly turns out to be something for which he is ill-prepared, and he drowns.


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