R. J. Palacio

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Wonder: August: Understudy Summary & Analysis

A few days later, Via brings home three tickets to Our Town. On opening night, August is nervous at how big Via's school is. He wishes he could wear a baseball cap in the crowd, but caps don't work with his hearing aids. August keeps his head down and follows Mom and Dad to the auditorium and they flip through the program. August asks why Via's role is called being an understudy as Mom and Dad discuss that Miranda's dad is getting remarried and has a baby on the way. August persists in his own line of questioning, and Dad calls August "Auggie Doggie" when he answers. August whispers to Dad and asks him not to call him that anymore. When the play starts, August knows right away he's going to like it because it seems grown up. He, Mom, and Dad are shocked when Via walks out instead of Miranda.
Though August is uncomfortable about it now, not being able to wear a baseball cap in public will mean that he'll have to get used to being more open about his identity in public. This is one way that he's forced into changing the identity he presents to the outside world. Then, when August asks Dad not to call him "Auggie Doggie," it shows that he's at the point where he's ready to ask for more mature treatment from his parents. This indicates that he'd like to be seen as more adult, and not like the little kid he wanted to be at the beginning.
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