Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Via Pullman  Character Analysis

Via, whose real name is Olivia, is August's fifteen-year-old sister. When August starts school at Beecher Prep, Via starts high school at Faulkner High School, a selective and academically challenging private school. When school begins, she struggles to discover that her best friends, Miranda and Ella, have suddenly become popular, while she hasn't changed at all. Via often picks fights with Mom out of her frustration with what's going on in her social life. However, Via is also very private about things with her family. She learned at a very young age to not ask for help or attention from her parents so as to not distract from August, though she believes that August is old enough to not be coddled quite so much. Though Via and August bicker a lot, she is also one of August's biggest guiding forces in navigating the difficulties of middle school. Via begins dating a boy named Justin, and they both sign up for the theater elective together. Via initially doesn't tell her parents about the spring play, Our Town, because she loves being at a school where nobody knows that August is her brother, and she knows that if her parents come to the play, August will come too. This culminates in a huge fight on the night that their dog Daisy dies, after which Via does agree to purchase tickets for her family. On the night of the play, Miranda feigns illness and allows Via to perform the female lead, which allows Via to feel celebrated and appreciated by her family in a way the novel suggests she hadn't felt before. Via and Miranda make up after this and after the play, Via achieves a greater sense of acceptance of her family situation and feels more comfortable in her social standing at school.

Via Pullman  Quotes in Wonder

The Wonder quotes below are all either spoken by Via Pullman  or refer to Via Pullman  . 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 Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Knopf edition of Wonder published in 2012.
Via: A Tour of the Galaxy Quotes

After you've seen someone else going through that, it feels kind of crazy to complain over not getting the toy you had asked for, or your mom missing a school play. I knew this even when I was six years old.

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Mom, Dad
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Via: Seeing August Quotes

"I love Auggie very, very much," she said softly […] "But he has many angels looking out for him already, Via. And I want you to know that you have me looking out for you."

Related Characters: Grans (speaker), August Pullman, Via Pullman 
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Via: An Apparition at the Door Quotes

I wonder how many nights she's stood outside his door. And I wonder if she's ever stood outside my door like that.

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Mom
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
Via: Time to Think Quotes

"Okay, that's fair," I said. "But it's not a contest about whose days suck the most, Auggie. The point is we all have to put up with the bad days. Now, unless you want to be treated like a baby the rest of your life, or like a kid with special needs, you just have to suck it up and go."

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Jack Will
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:
Justin: Olivia's Brother Quotes

it's not even like they know they're being mean, she adds. they were just scared. i mean, let's face it, his face is a little scary, right?

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Justin
Page Number: 189
Explanation and Analysis:
Justin: Bird Quotes

it's just been so nice being in a new school where nobody knows about him, you know? nobody's whispering about it behind my back […] but if he comes to the play, then everyone will talk about it, everyone will know […].

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Justin
Related Symbols: “Our Town”
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
August: My Cave Quotes

"Auggie!" Mom yelled. "That's not true!"

"Stop lying to me, Mom!" I shrieked. "Stop treating me like a baby! I'm not retarded! I know what's going on!"

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Mom (speaker), Via Pullman 
Related Symbols: “Our Town”
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:

I don't even know how I got so mad. I wasn't really mad at the beginning of dinner. I wasn't even sad. But then all of a sudden it all kind of just exploded out of me. I knew Via didn't want me to go to her stupid play. And I knew why.

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Via Pullman  , Mom
Related Symbols: “Our Town”
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
August: Daisy's Toys Quotes

So I went to my bed and put on my pajamas without anyone telling me to and put the night-light on and turned the light off and crawled into the little mountain of stuffed animals I had left on my bed earlier.

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Via Pullman  , Mom, Dad, Daisy
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
August: Understudy Quotes

I knew right then and there that I was going to like the play. It wasn't like other school plays I've been to, like The Wizard of Oz or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. No, this was grown-up seeming, and I felt smart sitting there watching it.

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Via Pullman 
Related Symbols: “Our Town”
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:
Miranda: School Quotes

We knew we were being mean, but it was easier to ice her out if we pretended she had done something to us. The truth is she hadn't changed at all: we had. We'd become these other people, and she was still the person she'd always been. That annoyed me so much and I didn't know why.

Related Characters: Miranda (speaker), Via Pullman  , Ella
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Wonder LitChart as a printable PDF.
Wonder PDF

Via Pullman  Character Timeline in Wonder

The timeline below shows where the character Via Pullman  appears in Wonder. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
August: Ordinary
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...says that he's used to the stares, as are Mom and Dad. His big sister, Via, isn't good at pretending—she often gets really mad and even yells at kids. Mom, Dad,... (full context)
August: How I Came to Life
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...tells the reader the story of his birth, prefacing it by saying that he and Via always laugh when Mom tells the story, even though the story itself isn't particularly funny.... (full context)
August: Driving
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
In the car on the way home, August and Via fall asleep. August wakes up after dark to hear Mom and Dad whispering about sending... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...Miss Butt. August laughs, even though he doesn't want to find any of this funny. Via wakes up and groggily asks who Mr. Tushman is, and August explains that he's the... (full context)
August: The Deal
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...a baby in front of people. He asks Mom if they need to pick up Via, which is the signal that he's ready to leave. Mom pretends to check her watch... (full context)
August: Home
August: First-Day Jitters
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...day of school, August is very nervous. Mom and Dad take pictures of him and Via, and they all decide to walk August to school. August explains that Beecher Prep is... (full context)
August: Lamb to the Slaughter
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...asks him to speak up. When he introduces himself to the class, he talks about Via and Daisy as his interesting facts, and then Julian asks him if the little braid... (full context)
August: Lunch
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Lunch is a struggle for August, though he thinks he should've known better since Via warned him. Some kids tell August he can't sit with them, so he chooses an... (full context)
August: Padawan
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
August cuts off his Padawan braid that night. Dad is thrilled, but Via seems angry and demands to know if someone made fun of it. August cuddles with... (full context)
August: Costumes
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
On Halloween morning, Via has a meltdown. Dad is late and is uncharacteristically not patient with her, so Mom... (full context)
Via: A Tour of the Galaxy
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via tells the reader that August is the sun, while she, Mom, and Dad are just... (full context)
Via: Before August
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Via doesn't remember life before August, but she's seen pictures of herself and her parents before... (full context)
Via: Seeing August
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via explains that she always knew August didn't look normal, but she never used to see... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via says that Grans was the kind of grandma who did everything with her grandkids. That... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
On Via and Grans' last day together, they watched the sunset together. Grans had told Via a... (full context)
Via: August Through the Peephole
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Eventually, August will need hearing aids, which he hates the idea of. Via wonders if August knows that wearing hearing aids will be the least of his problems.... (full context)
Via: High School
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Via explains that she loved middle school because she could be Olivia Pullman there, not Via.... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...social structure, and they were all thrilled to get into the same high school. Now, Via isn't sure what's going on in high school, as it's nothing like what she expected. (full context)
Via: Major Tom
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Via explains that Miranda was always the sweetest to August. She bought him his space helmet,... (full context)
Via: After School
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
During eighth period on the first day of school, Via tells Miranda that she doesn't need a ride home. It's a lie, but Via can't... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via storms to August's room, moves Daisy over, and tries to ask him about school while... (full context)
Via: The Padawan Bites the Dust
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
That night, August cuts off his Padawan braid. It makes Via surprisingly angry. She remembers how proud August had been of his braid, and she's angry... (full context)
Via: An Apparition at the Door
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Once, Via woke up in the middle of the night and saw Mom standing outside August's room,... (full context)
Via: Breakfast
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
The morning of the second day of school, Via asks Mom to pick her up after school. Mom insists that Miranda's mom can drive... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mom asks if there's something going on with Miranda, and Via explains that Miranda is acting like a jerk. August pipes up that Miranda isn't a... (full context)
Via: Genetics 101
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via explains that Dad's family is Jewish, while Mom's family is Brazilian. Except for Grans and... (full context)
Via: The Punnett Square
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via explains that if she has children, there's a 50-50 chance that she'll pass the gene... (full context)
Via: Out with the Old
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...a week of excruciatingly awkward lunches, Miranda and Ella attach themselves to a popular group. Via finishes War and Peace in the library during lunch so she has an excuse to... (full context)
Via: October 31
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Grans died the night before Halloween, so it's always a sad time of year for Via and Mom. Mom copes by going all out on August's Halloween costume. This year, she... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Via wakes up on Halloween thinking about Grans, and she feels sad and weepy. Dad is... (full context)
Via: Trick or Treat
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
August insists he's not well enough to go trick-or-treating, which Via finds shocking and sad. She thinks that Halloween must be the best for August, since... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via asks if there's something more going on, and August, close to tears, finally tells Via... (full context)
Via: Time to Think
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Via feels bad for Mom the next day, as Mom has no idea that August's stomach... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Via tells August that it's actually great that the kids don't know that August heard them... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Angry, Via threatens to tell Mom and Dad about Jack if August stops going to school, saying... (full context)
Jack: August's House
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Via knocks on August's door and lets herself in. She's clearly not expecting to see Jack... (full context)
Jack: The Boyfriend
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
A few minutes later, Via returns with a boy named Justin. He wears round glasses, carries a long case with... (full context)
Justin: Olivia's Brother
Identity Theme Icon
...for the first time, he's surprised. He thinks that he shouldn't be, given how much Via has talked about him. Justin shakes August's hand and tells him about zydeco for a... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
After Justin and Via get to Via's room, she asks what he thought of August. He assures Via that... (full context)
Justin: Valentine's Day
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Justin gives Olivia a heart necklace for Valentine's day, and she gives him a bag made out of... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
After dinner, they go back to Via's house for ice cream. Daisy greets them at the door, and Mom and Dad discover... (full context)
Justin: OUR TOWN
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justin explains that at school, they're doing the play Our Town for the spring show. Via dared him to try out for the lead role and somehow, he got it. Miranda... (full context)
Justin: Ladybug
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
One warm evening in March, Via and Justin sit on Via's front stoop and run Justin's lines. Justin forgets the very... (full context)
Justin: The Bus Stop
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
As Justin and Via are kissing goodbye, Mom, August, and Jack come down the stairs. Mom pretends not to... (full context)
Justin: Rehearsal
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
As opening night gets closer, Justin spends more and more time rehearsing. He's thrilled when Via suggests he have his fiddle onstage, as he can play a bit when he forgets... (full context)
Justin: Bird
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
The next day, Justin asks Via why she never mentioned that she and Miranda used to be friends. He's annoyed she... (full context)
August: Via's Secret
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
A couple days after spring break ends, Mom finds out that Via never shared anything about her school's spring play. Mom is uncharacteristically angry with Via about... (full context)
August: My Cave
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...Mom makes her an appointment to see the vet the next day. Mom, August, and Via sit down for dinner, and August asks if they're going to see Justin in the... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...is shocked when August accuses her of lying. Suddenly angry, August jumps up and accuses Via of not wanting her friends to know that he's a "freak." He screams at Mom... (full context)
August: Goodbye
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Via tells August to come quick and yells that it's not about him when he refuses... (full context)
August: Daisy's Toys
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
August: Heaven
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...up and crawls into bed next to Mom. He asks about her hand and if Via is ashamed of him, and he apologizes for his words at dinner. Mom seems tired... (full context)
August: Understudy
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
A few days later, Via brings home three tickets to Our Town. On opening night, August is nervous at how... (full context)
August: The Ending
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
August tells the reader that the play was amazing, and the ending made everyone cry. Via was even crying at the end. August stood up with the audience to applaud, and... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Mr. Davenport comes over, and Via introduces him to Mom, Dad, and August. Justin pulls Mr. Davenport away before he can... (full context)
Miranda: Camp Lies
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...little brother was deformed. This prompted a dramatic reaction and Miranda felt terrible—she knew that Via would be upset, but she also felt somewhat entitled since August feels like her little... (full context)
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...hung out with boys. When Miranda got back from camp, she contacted Ella and not Via because Ella didn't ask hard questions. (full context)
Miranda: School
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
When school started, Miranda felt awkward every time she saw Via. She knew that Via didn't like her new look or her new friends, so she... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Miranda decided to sign up for theater when she saw Via's name on the sign-up sheet, though she and Via avoided each other. One day, Mr.... (full context)
Miranda: What I Miss Most
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Miranda admits that she misses Via's parents the most. She thinks it's pathetic that she felt safer with them than she... (full context)
Miranda: Extraordinary, but No One There to See
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...looks ready to explode, but Miranda insists. Finally, he yells for the students to find Via and get her ready. Miranda pulls off her dress in the dressing room and gives... (full context)
Miranda: After the Show
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...Mom and Dad invite her to join them for a celebratory dinner. August pleads and Via walks up, puts her arm around Miranda, and insists she come. Miranda feels happy for... (full context)
August: The Fairgrounds
Identity Theme Icon
...outdoor movie that night. During some downtime, August writes a letter to Mom, Dad, and Via. When the class arrives at the fairgrounds where they'll see the movie, the sun is... (full context)
August: Bear
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...puppy Bear because Mom thinks he looks like a bear cub. She lets August and Via stay home the next day so they can play with Bear. August and Via have... (full context)
August: Home (2)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
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...and asks for a grilled cheese. While Mom makes it, she explains that Dad and Via are almost home. She allows August to lead the conversation about his camping trip, and... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
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...push him when August says he'd rather tell the entire story later after Dad and Via are home. When August is done eating, he asks Mom if he'll always have to... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
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...the short conversation and then tells August to wait to nap. Minutes later, Dad and Via get home. Dad has a box with a puppy inside. (full context)