R. J. Palacio

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Wonder makes teaching easy.

Wonder: Miranda: Extraordinary, but No One There to See Summary & Analysis

Neither of Miranda's parents can come to opening night of Our Town. Her boyfriend can't come either, and Miranda is upset that nobody will be there to see her. Despite this, she knows that she's good at acting and loves her part. However, when Miranda peeks at the audience from backstage and sees August, Mom, and Dad, she suddenly mumbles to Mr. Davenport that she feels sick and can't go on. He 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 it to a confused Via while another girl does Via's hair and makeup. Via asks Miranda why she's doing this, but Mr. Davenport calls her onstage before Miranda can answer. She doesn't know what the answer is anyway.
Though Miranda is surely not aware of how alone, isolated, and unsupported Via feels in her family right now, letting Via perform the role allows Via to be celebrated for her accomplishments in a way that her narration thus far suggests she's never experienced. This situates Miranda's choice as a way for her to “choose kind” and prioritize another's happiness over her own. Mr. Davenports anger here, especially coupled with his proposal of The Elephant Man, suggests that he's not a great role model for his students.
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon