The Study of the Conflict of the Main Character as Seen in The Giver by Lois Lowry


  • Rendy Dwi Permata Nofeni
  • Femmy Dahlan
  • Mariati Mariati


This study aims to analyze the main character’s conflicts in Lois Lowry’s novel entitled
The Giver. A young teen named Jonas is selected to the position of Receiver of Memory, the
person who stores all the past memories of the time before sameness. As the receiver of
memory Jonas sensed the difference between the rules in their community and what is seen in
some of the memories of the society. Moreover, he was shocked to find out that the real
meaning of “to perform release” was to terminate people and not go elsewhere as what he and
the others had thought. Jonas decided to save his community. Since that, Jonas became in
conflict with some of the people and himself. Based on the background of the problem,
therefore, the purposes of this study are (1) to analyze characters and settings and (2) to
analyze the main character's conflict.
This research uses structuralism theory. Roberts (2003) states that the principle of
structuralism stems from the attempt to find relationship and connections among elements
that appear to be separate and discrete. Elements in literary work consist of character, setting,
plot, point of view, style of language and theme. All these elements have connection to each
other. In this study the writer only focus on character, setting, and plot.Furthermore, the
writer also uses the theory of conflict by Roberts in this thesis. According to Roberts,
conflictsare one important part of a story because, with conflict, the story will be more
interesting or even tense. Conflict is very closely related to the characters because conflict
can also be made into a process between characters and stories.The controlling impulse in a
connected pattern of causes and effects is conflict, which refers to people or circumstances
that a character must face and try to overcome. Conflicts bring out extremes of human
energy, causing characters to engage in the decisions, actions, responses, and interactions that
make up narrative and dramatic literature. Roberts states that conflict divided into two
categories, the external conflict, and the internal conflict. The External conflict happens
between two or more people or group of people in the form of contrasting ideas and opinions.
The other conflicts are the internal conflict which is a situation of choice in which the options
are difficult, dangerous, and impossible or a dilemma that creates a natural conflict that
individual character frequently confronts.
This is a qualitative research conducted by applying the close-reading method. The data
collection techniques carried out by: (1) read the novel repeatedly, (2) find the data based on
formulation of the problem, (3) classify the data based on characters and conflicts, (4)
analyze and interpret the data based on theory, (5) draw conclusion.
In this study the writer found Jonas has four traits: (a) careful (2 data), (b)
compassionate (2 data), (c) curios (3 data), (d) persevering (2 data). The Giver has two traits:
(a) wise (2 data), (b) calm (2 data). Jonas’s father, has two traits: (a) caring (2 data), (b) quiet
(1 data). Asher has two traits: (a) cheerful (2 data), (b) hasty (2 data). Then the writer found
three settings, they are: (a) natural setting (3 data), (b) manufactured (2 data), (c) cultural
setting, divided into two: (a) knowledge (3 data), (b) moral (1 data). Thewriter found that the
plot of the novel is progressive.The main character experienced both external and internal
conflicts, they are: (1) The external conflict, has four external conflict, they are: (a) arguing
about using word (2 data), (b) arguing about keeping the colors (2 data), (c) arguing about
helping the community (2 data), (d) arguing about the ceremony of twelve (2 data). (2) The
internal conflict, has two internal conflict, they are: (a) feel frustration (3 data), (b) feel
starving (1 data). In conclusion, Jonas’ external conflict is more dominant than his internal
conflict. Jonas’s external conflict with Asher happened because Jonas’s careful traits clashes
with Asher’shasty. Jonas’s external conflict with The Giver happened because Jonas’s curios
traits clash with The Giver’s calm. Jonas’s external conflict with his father happened because
Jonas’s careful traits clash with his father’s caring. Jonas’s social environment influenced her
internal conflict and also becomes the dominant conflict.
Keyword: characters, setting, external and internal, conflicts

Author Biography

Rendy Dwi Permata Nofeni

Jurusan Sastra Asia Timur