Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Summary
Analysis
August has known since he was little that he'd need hearing aids someday, but he desperately doesn't want to wear them. He tries to keep his worsening hearing from people but in October, he failed his audiology test at his annual checkup. At the appointment to get fitted with the hearing aids, August refuses to wear them, insisting he'll look like Lobot from Star Wars. Mom has no idea what August is talking about, but the audiologist engages August in upbeat conversation about Star Wars as he fits the hearing aids on August's ears with the help of a headband. When August sees himself in the mirror, he starts to cry—it looks like he has antennae coming out of his ears. The audiologist tells August to wait until he turns them on before getting too upset.
Here, the audiologist is able to use a fundamental and treasured part of August's identity (his love of Star Wars) to make him feel better about his ears, which are a part of his identity that he likes much less. The audiologist's clear affinity for Star Wars also shows August that adults can be just as invested in Star Wars as kids can be, which shows him that not everything will have to change as he grows up.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon