The Wanderer

Dock Character Analysis

Uncle to Sophie, Cody, and Brian, and brother to Stew and Mo, Dock is the most level-headed of the uncles. While Mo is often grouchy, constantly yelling at Cody, and getting into fights with Stew, Dock often attempts to diffuse the tension aboard the boat. Sophie calls him “the good uncle,” and claims that he’s always calm and easygoing, never being fazed by any accidents that happen aboard the ship. The path The Wanderer takes along the eastern coast of the United States and Canada is largely inspired by Dock’s desire to find and/or get news about an old lover, Rosalie. Dock’s past with Rosalie isn’t described in any great detail in the book, but we can infer that their split caused Dock great pain, and that he misses her deeply. Though Dock is reunited with Rosalie in England, it’s not for long. He proposes to her, but she declines, saying that it’s too soon, and that she has other plans. Dock ends up deciding to stay in England in order to look after Bompie.

Dock Quotes in The Wanderer

The The Wanderer quotes below are all either spoken by Dock or refer to Dock. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Passage of Time Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of The Wanderer published in 2011.
V. Wind and Waves Quotes

Last night I dreamed about Sophie, and this morning I asked Uncle Dock if Sophie knew what had happened to her parents. He said, “At some level, Sophie must know. But consciously? That’s something only Sophie can answer.”

Related Characters: Cody (speaker), Sophie, Dock
Page Number: 178-179
Explanation and Analysis:

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Dock Character Timeline in The Wanderer

The timeline below shows where the character Dock appears in The Wanderer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
I. Preparations
Men and Women Theme Icon
...told her that the boat wouldn’t be “a very pleasant place for a girl.” Uncle Dock, whom Sophie calls “the good uncle,” supports Sophie’s desire to join them, arguing that she... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...writes that her father drove her to Connecticut to join her uncles and cousins at Dock’s cottage. She says that she’s been holed up there with them for two weeks, making... (full context)
II. Shakedown
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...they expected, and that the reason they’re stopping in Martha’s Vineyard is to visit Uncle Dock’s friend Joey. Joey has spent the last five years refurbishing an old wooden boat, and... (full context)
III. The Island
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
...entry about arriving at Gran Manan, an Island in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. Dock’s friend Frank meets them when they dock, and they all go to his house to... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
16. Stranded. Cody writes an entry in his log saying that he asked Uncle Dock what happened to Sophie’s parents. Dock replies by saying that they’re back in Kentucky, but... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...Bompie and the Pastor. In Cody’s next journal, he says that he came up on Dock having another serious conversation—this time with Frank—and that the two hushed up when they saw... (full context)
IV. Under Way
Men and Women Theme Icon
...Sophie’s next journal entry, she describes how one morning on The Wanderer, she overhears Uncle Dock and Stew having a discussion in the galley—Uncle Stew has been fired from his job.... (full context)
The Passage of Time Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...Rosalie. In her next entry, Sophie writes about how, while she was watching whales with Dock, he started to tell a story about a woman he’d known, Rosalie. Rosalie loved whales—she’d... (full context)
The Passage of Time Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...In her next journal entry, Sophie asks Uncle Stew if he knew Rosalie and if Dock liked her a lot. Stew answers yes to both, and implies that Dock has been... (full context)
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
Sophie also writes that Dock had worried her the night before when they were both on watch duty. Dock asked... (full context)
V. Wind and Waves
Men and Women Theme Icon
...do it, she gets told to take the helm instead. Further, she says that when Dock chose Cody to help fix one of the sails instead of her, she “threw a... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...his arm around Brian, and Uncle Mo with his arm around Cody, and then Uncle Dock holding the rail, looking out at the sea. She says that she wanted to leave... (full context)
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
47. Force Ten.Sophie writes that the winds have intensified even more—Uncle Dock says that they’re in a force-ten gale, the winds blowing at fifty knots an hour.... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...his mom, saying he loves her, just in case. He writes that he asked Uncle Dock about Sophie—does she know what happened to her parents? Dock replies that, “at some level,... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...encounter with a nearly fatal wave. Sophie says she was stationed on lookout, with Uncle Dock in the cockpit and Cody at the wheel, when she noticed a wave approaching that... (full context)
The Passage of Time Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...and Stew are also below deck; Brian lets her know that he’s seen Cody and Dock still on board—they’re just up on deck. Cody’s head had been banged up by the... (full context)
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...is thankful for Cody right now, even though they refuse to admit it. Further, Uncle Dock says that the GPS, ham radio, and radar are still all not functioning. The Wanderer... (full context)
VI. Land
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...says the whole crew is piled in a rental car on the way to Bompie’s—Uncle Dock found someone to start repair work on The Wanderer, so everyone is able to visit... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
66. The Visitor. Sophie’s next entry details their arrival at Dock’s friend’s house. Everyone stayed inside the car while Dock went up to the door, and... (full context)
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...Inn in Wales. While everyone was waiting for Sophie downstairs before dinner, Brian demanded that Dock tell everyone what happened to Sophie’s parents. Uncle Stew wants to know, too, and Brian... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...and asks why everyone is looking at her as if she were a ghost. Uncle Dock tells her that she just looked very special that evening, and Cody notices that Sophie... (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
...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 their father... (full context)
The Passage of Time Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...Bompie.Sophie’s following entry picks up where the last one left off, and says that, after Dock took Bompie’s hand and gently stroked it, Bompie opened his eyes—but he was a bit... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...and Mo from arguing about whether they should take Bompie back to America or not. Dock suggests that they ask Bompie what he wants to do, and he clearly states that... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
75. Oh, Rosalie! Cody then writes an entry and says that Rosalie left Dock. She had plans she wasn’t able to change—she was leaving for Spain the next day.... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...with Brian; one for Brian of him taking up a list; a watercolor for Uncle Dock of The Wanderer; a drawing for Cody of him juggling; and a drawing for Sophie... (full context)
The Passage of Time Theme Icon
Dreaming vs. The Real World Theme Icon
The Mysteries of Life and Death Theme Icon
...In Cody’s last journal entry, he says that it was difficult saying goodbye to Uncle Dock and Bompie, but that it was incredible to fly over the ocean back to the... (full context)
Family and Personal Identity Theme Icon
Cody adds that Dock called and said that The Wanderer had been repaired and that he’d found a job... (full context)