Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Wonder: Jack: Letters, Emails, Facebook, Texts Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jack writes a letter to Mr. Tushman telling him that he knows that what he did was wrong, but he'd rather not get Julian into trouble. He also writes an apology letter to Julian. Mr. Tushman writes Jack and says that he has some idea of what happened, and while he doesn't condone violence, he knows that good friends are worth defending.
Though Mr. Tushman is certainly obligated to punish violence in his school, he shows here that part of being a positive role model is being willing to understand the gray area in life. This will hopefully impart this lesson to Jack, in turn guiding him towards maturity.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Julian's mom writes an email to Mr. Tushman that's CC'd to Jack's parents. It explains that she supports Jack's return to school, but she wonders if Jack "snapped" because of the pressure of being forced to be friends with "the new child with special needs" (August). She explains that she told Julian he didn't have to be friends with August and suggests that August shouldn't be allowed at school at all, since Beecher Prep isn't an inclusion school. Mr. Tushman emails her back and explains that August isn't disabled in the least, completed the entrance application like every other student, and insists that asking kids to be kind to a new student is a great way to teach empathy, friendship, and loyalty.
Julian's mom's insistence that Beecher Prep isn't an inclusion school shows that she believes that August isn't physically or intellectually on par with his classmates, which in turn shows that she's unable or unwilling to understand that August is truly just another kid. Just as he did in his letter to Jack, Mr. Tushman diplomatically sets an example of kindness for those willing to take it. This reaffirms that Mr. Tushman is an exceptional educator, as he's willing to stand up to parents for the sake of his students.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Jack's mom emails Julian's mom offering to pay for Julian's dental bills, but she also explains that Jack didn't feel it was a burden to be friends with August. She says that Jack genuinely enjoys August's company.
Jack's mom does the same thing as Mr. Tushman by making it clear to Julian's mom whose side she's on. This foreshadows the coming "war" at Beecher Prep.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Jack sends August a friend request on Facebook and also sends him an email apologizing for what he said. Over text, Jack explains to August that Summer told him "Bleeding Scream." Jack confirms that he did indeed punch Julian and assures August that he wouldn't actually want to kill himself if he were August—he'd want to kill himself if he were Julian. August agrees that they can be friends.
Though Jack's assertion that he'd want to kill himself if he were Julian is still distasteful, it shows that Jack has learned the value of kindness and standing up for real, loyal friends.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
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