The Wednesday Wars

by

Gary Schmidt

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Wednesday Wars can help.
Holling's mother is a quiet, timid woman who seems afraid of her husband, Holling's dad. She chain-smokes in secret, though both Holling and Heather are aware of her habit. She shows her love through food, and when Heather runs away, Holling's mother finally begins to take a stand against her husband by not cooking lima beans. However, this is as far as her rebellion goes. She refuses to drive Holling to New York to pick up Heather, though she does give him money for food and train tickets to bring Heather back home.

Holling's Mother Quotes in The Wednesday Wars

The The Wednesday Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Holling's Mother or refer to Holling's Mother. 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:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Wednesday Wars published in 2007.
September Quotes

How do parents get to where they can say things like this? There must be some gene that switches on at the birth of the firstborn child, and suddenly stuff like that starts to come out of their mouths.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Holling's Dad, Holling's Mother
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
December Quotes

I guess it didn't matter to them that the Bing Crosby Christmas Special was on television tonight, the way it mattered to my parents, who would never, ever miss it. I guess the Hupfers thought that a Shakespeare debut was a whole lot more important than hearing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" one more time—even though Mr. Hupfer was loosening his tie and holding his hand over a yawn.

Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:
February Quotes

[…] right then a whole series of low chords sounded from the piano in the Perfect Living Room below us, followed by a roar and crash as the entire newly plastered ceiling fell, smashing down on top of the baby grand piano, ripping the plastic seat cushions, flattening the fake tropical flowers, tearing the gleaming mirror from the wall, and spreading its glittering shards onto the floor, where they mixed with the dank, wet plaster that immediately began to settle into the carpet to stain it forever.

Related Symbols: The Perfect House
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
May Quotes

For supper, my mother set only three places. She did not cook lima beans. She did not say anything while my father swore up and down […] Didn't she realize that this didn't help his business reputation or his chances for the Chamber of Commerce Businessman of 1968, which that creep Kowalski was trying to steal from him?

Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:
June Quotes

"You think that's how you become a man, by chanting a few prayers?"

"You think you become a man by getting a job as an architect?"

Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Wednesday Wars LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Wednesday Wars PDF

Holling's Mother Character Timeline in The Wednesday Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Holling's Mother appears in The Wednesday Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
September
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...school year, and Holling feels as though he's going to throw up the omelet his mother made him for breakfast. (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Holling finds his mother in the kitchen and informs her that Mrs. Baker hates him. She assures him that... (full context)
October
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling's dad asks Holling's mother to tell Heather that she has a flower painted on her cheek. Heather assures her... (full context)
November
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...skies and rain. Holling and his dad prep the Perfect House for winter, and Holling's mother discovers a leak in the ceiling of the Perfect Living Room. When Holling's dad touches... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...week of practicing, Holling feels he's perfected several curses. On Tuesday night, Holling's dad and mother knock on the door, but both leave when he say he's practicing a speech for... (full context)
December
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...insists that the part is an honor. Finally, Holling shows his yellow tights to his mother. She insists the feathers will be cute, and nobody from Camillo Junior High will be... (full context)
January
Family Theme Icon
...the tights are yellow with white feathers on the butt. Holling is mortified, but his mother insists nobody will see it. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
When Holling returns to school, he discovers his mother was wrong: Doug Swieteck's brother saw it and, apparently, experienced a "flash of inspiration and... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
That night, the power outage continues. Holling's mother chain-smokes out a window; his dad furiously sits at the phone fielding calls from people... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...proclaims him fine but bruised. Mrs. Baker drives Holling to the Perfect House, where Holling's mother thanks her for bringing him home. Holling finds the late edition of the Home Town... (full context)
April
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...Saint Adelbert's, Mrs. Baker suggests that she could take Holling to the game, assuming his mother is okay with it. Holling ends up asking his sister, who doesn't care, so he... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...place in a crazy world right now, and she'll stay home and be safe. Holling's mother says nothing. (full context)
May
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...thinks he bought it to comfort himself. Every night after the news, he takes Holling's mother for a drive, and leaves it parked in the driveway so Chit can't park his... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
The Perfect House becomes quiet, and Holling's dad stops watering the azaleas. His mother stops cooking lima beans, and they all stop talking. Holling describes the silence as being... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...call from his Heather saying she's on her way. He tells his dad and his mother at breakfast on Saturday morning that his sister will arrive in New York City at... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Holling grabs the keys to the Mustang and tries to convince his mother to drive them. When she refuses, he goes and sits in the car for a... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...and refused to get back in. Later, when they take the train back home, their mother makes burnt grilled cheese sandwiches. Holling's dad asks Heather if she found herself, and Holling... (full context)
June
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...he'll let them know when he finds out. His dad slams the car door, his mother blows him a kiss, and Heather smiles. (full context)