The Wanderer

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Mo Character Analysis

The father of Cody, brother of Dock and Stew, and uncle of Sophie and Brian, Mo begins The Wanderer having a poor relationship with his son. Constantly yelling at and scolding Cody, Mo has practically given up on trying to reach out and forge a better, healthier relationship with his son. Mo also is characterized from the start of the novel as lazy and out of shape—preferring to watch everyone else work while he sits back and pretends to be in charge. While Mo’s laziness doesn’t really change throughout the novel, his relationship with Cody does. After the crewmembers of The Wanderer have a run-in with a nearly fatal wave, Mo comes to appreciate the fragility of life more, and tells Cody that he has been a bad father. The two begin to repair their relationship, and mend the wounds they had at the beginning of the novel. Mo is also a talented artist, and, though he may not be the most helpful shipmate, he draws pictures for everyone aboard The Wanderer and gives them out as gifts in England.
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Mo Character Timeline in The Wanderer

The timeline below shows where the character Mo appears in The Wanderer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
I. Preparations
Men and Women Theme Icon
...cousins to visit her grandfather, Bompie, in England. She says that her uncles Stew and Mo tried to dissuade her from joining them on the trip—they told her that the boat... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...a lot of value in being highly organized all the time. Sophie describes her Uncle Mo as “a bit on the chubby side” and always lying around tanning instead of helping... (full context)
II. Shakedown
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...Slugs and Bananas. Chapter 6 marks Cody’s first log entry. He says that his father (Mo) is driving him crazy—all he does is lay around all day, not helping with anything,... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...left Block Island and is headed for Martha’s Vineyard. Cody, she adds, annoys his father (Mo), Brian, and Uncle Stew by never saying any of the sailing terminology correctly. She says... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...seen anyone so happy about something so simple.” He concludes by saying that his dad, Mo, is angry with him, and asks him if he has anything else to teach besides... (full context)
The Passage of Time  Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
11. Juggling. Sophie writes another entry, and says that Cody is still getting on Mo, Brian, and Stew’s nerves by refusing to use the proper sailing terminology. Brian tries to... (full context)
III. The Island
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
When Sophie and Cody return to Grand Manan, Uncle Mo scolds them for getting themselves into potential danger. They could have gotten lost in the... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...thing happened, too, when he went below deck on The Wanderer and found his father (Mo) crying in his bunk. When Cody asked his father what was wrong, he said that... (full context)
IV. Under Way
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...finally getting under way. He says that he caught his father practicing juggling, and when Mo noticed Cody watching him, he dropped the oranges he was using, and said that juggling... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...lesson in radio code. While Cody thought it was going to be “mega-boring,” and that Mo was going to be a cranky teacher, he says that he found it really interesting... (full context)
The Passage of Time  Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
...“spooky fog . . . makes everything look like a horror movie.” He then translates his,Mo’s, Sophie’s, and Brian’s names into radio code. (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...“metal thingys” that greatly upset Uncle Stew, who called Cody an “idjit.” Overhearing this, Uncle Mo got angry at Stew for being rude to his son, and then at Cody for... (full context)
V. Wind and Waves
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...a vicious storm, Cody writes that he told his father he didn’t want to die. Mo replied by telling Cody that he couldn’t die, and that “Sophie can’t die like this.”... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...then writes that his father told him he’d been a good son, but that he, Mo, had been a poor father. Cody says his father was wrong—Cody says he hasn’t been... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...the helm, she turned and saw Uncle Stew with his arm around Brian, and Uncle Mo with his arm around Cody, and then Uncle Dock holding the rail, looking out at... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...feet high, with a distinctively high curl. She shouts to Cody and Dock, warning them (Mo and Stew are below deck), and she sees the wave hit Cody hard. Suddenly, Sophie... (full context)
The Passage of Time  Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...pain, and she thought for a second that they might be broken. She sees that Mo, Brian, and Stew are also below deck; Brian lets her know that he’s seen Cody... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
59. New Dreams. In Sophie’s next journal entry, she writes that Mo is trying to be kinder to Cody—Mo’s stopped barking at him and calling him names.... (full context)
The Passage of Time  Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...section of the book, saying that he wants to talk to his father now that Mo is finally reaching out, but he’s unsure of what to say or how to act... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...Cody found his dad sleeping on his bunk, Cody poked him until he awoke. When Mo opened his eyes, Cody said, “Just checking.” (full context)
VI. Land
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Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
62. Land. Cody adds that Uncle Stew and Mo got into a big argument. Stew was wondering who was going to get The Wanderer... (full context)
The Passage of Time  Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...crew just crossed the Severn River on a bridge, and has arrived in England. Both Mo and Dock cried, he says, and they explain that they feel sentimental about being where... (full context)
The Passage of Time  Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
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...name), Bompie says that Jonah is away at camp. He says the same thing to Mo and Stew. When Cody and Brian step forward, Bompie identifies them as Mo and Stew;... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...says that, even though Bompie was so weak and bedridden, it didn’t stop Stew and Mo from arguing about whether they should take Bompie back to America or not. Dock suggests... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
76. Gifts. Sophie writes that, on their last night with Bompie, Mo gave everyone a drawing he had done. He made one for Bompie of him sitting... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...been repaired and that he’d found a job charting the ocean floor. And his father, Mo, Cody says, has enrolled in art classes at night. He concludes by saying that next... (full context)