Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Wonder: August: Daisy's Toys Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Justin arrives a half hour later. He sits with August and Via in the living room quietly and they all look at Daisy's toys, which Via arranged on the coffee table. Via explains to August what happened: Mom was about to go comfort August when Daisy started whimpering and panting. When Mom tried to approach her, Daisy bit Mom. Via says that they never should've let Daisy get so bad, and August is confused. He hadn't noticed that Daisy had been to the vet multiple times recently and had been throwing up a lot. Via assures August that Mom's hand is fine where Daisy bit her, and apologizes for their fight.
The fact that August was entirely unaware that Daisy was ill and in pain is another indicator of his childishness and self-absorption. However, this means that this experience has the potential to teach August to be a better observer of people close to him so that he'll be able to notice things like this in the future. August's fixation on Mom's hurt hand shows that he does understand that adults require care, just like kids do.
Themes
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Two hours later, Mom and Dad come home without Daisy. August knows that Daisy is gone. They all sit in the living room, and Dad explains that the vet found a huge mass in Daisy's stomach. Dad held her while the vet put her to sleep, and he said she died very peacefully. Later, August goes into his parents' room to ask Mom to put him to bed and sees Dad sitting on the edge of the bed. Dad doesn't notice August and is crying quietly. August leaves the room and peeks into Via's room, where Mom and Via are lying together. August goes to his room, changes into pajamas, and puts himself to bed all by himself. He imagines Daisy snuggling with him.
This moment represents a major turning point in August's maturation. Seeing his parents openly grieving helps August to realize that they require just as much time to process Daisy's death as he does. When he decides to not ask them for comfort, August makes a mature choice to try to handle his emotions on his own. Putting himself to bed also reinforces that August is growing up, as he recognizes that he doesn't have to need his parents right now.
Themes
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
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