Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Wonder: Via: Time to Think Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Via feels bad for Mom the next day, as Mom has no idea that August's stomach is perfectly fine. By Sunday evening, August still doesn't want to go back to school, even as Via tries to convince him otherwise. August is happy at the thought that if the truth gets out, Jack would get in trouble, but he still insists he doesn't want to go back. Via insists that August is being crazy, and tells him that everyone hates school. He asks if people go out of their way to not touch her and insists his days are worse than hers. Via reminds him that if he wants to be treated normally, he can't make life into a contest of whose day was worse.
Via is right when she tells August that there are no prizes for having the worst day—in the same vein, part of growing up is recognizing that everyone does indeed have bad days, and the relative "badness" of people's days isn't necessarily worth comparing. The fact that August remains stubborn in his decision shows how these extremely emotional moments can, for a time, inhibit growth and maturity. However, it also seems that Via lacks some empathy and sensitivity in failing to acknowledge August’s deep feelings of pain and betrayal.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Via tells August that it's actually great that the kids don't know that August heard them saying mean things, because he can now ignore them and they won't know why. August asks if that's how Via is with Miranda, which annoys Via. August admits that Miranda called the other day to talk to him, and she hadn't heard that he was going to a real school. She told him that she'd always love him like a big sister. Via is aghast that he didn't tell her about the call.
Via's suggestion encourages August to use the overwhelmingly negative social structure for some minimal gain. This again illustrates that these social games aren't unique to either high school or middle school.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Angry, Via threatens to tell Mom and Dad about Jack if August stops going to school, saying that if Mr. Tushman finds out, he'll make Jack apologize in front of the whole school and everyone will think that August needs to go to a school for kids with special needs. August finally agrees to go to school. Casually, Via asks if Miranda said anything about her. August says that Miranda mentioned that she misses Via, and Via is embarrassed at how happy she is to hear that.
The joy that Via feels at the revelation about Miranda shows that deep down, Via does still want to be friends with her. However, Miranda isn’t making an effort to show Via she wants to be friends too, which seems to be why Via makes unkind suggestions to August about how to handle his own problems.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon