R.J. Palacio. The novel
Wonder is about a ten yearold boy named August Pullman, who looks a little bit different from everyone else. Because August was born with a facial difference, he had been home schooled his whole life up until now, when he attends a real school for the first time in his life: and he’s quite scared. To August, he was just an ordinary kid, but to everyone else: he’s not. One of the themes in the novel
written by R.J. Palacio, is kindness. It is best expressed in Mr. Tushman’s speech, “If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place. This theme is seen and shown a lot through the conflicts the characters go through, the characters’ actions, and the positive changes as they develop as dynamic characters.
The characters in this novel face many difficult situations, however the result turns into something positive. For example, Auggie was having quite a hard time on whether he should go to school or not. “‘We can’t just keep protecting him,’ Mom whispered.’ ‘We can’t just pretend he’s going to wake up tomorrow and this isn’t going to be his reality, because it is, Nate, and we have to help him learn to deal with it...’
‘Everyone will stare at me at school,’ I said, suddenly crying.” (Ch. “Driving”) The author was telling us that even though Auggie was really afraid that he would always be made fun of, or stared at, or bullied, there is always someone out there for you. When the author wrote that Auggie had agreed to go to school, his courageousness shows us that we shouldn’t care about what anybody else thinks of us; it is okay to be yourself. In a way, August stood out, but he was unique in a good way. Also, if August had never gone to school, then he would never have met the people that became the kindest, most loyal best friends he met during the school year.
The actions and reactions of the characters played an important role in the storyline. While some were negative actions and reactions, many were positive. On the first day of school, several students tried to avoid August at all times and had kept staring. However, there were some who were a friend to Auggie, whom were kind and understanding. One of these people was Summer Dawson. She was willing to be a friend and sit next to Auggie while he sat alone at a lunch table. Summer understood how hard it must have been for Auggie; to be sitting alone while everyone was judging him. This was a very important part in the story because there are people like Summer, whose actions do make a difference in the world despite of their random acts of kindness. She was an affable and a modest person, and she shows that she is when she truly cares for and is sympathetic for August. Julian Albans, one of the main protagonists in the novel, is the complete opposite of Summer. The author shows us how when someones mean words or actions can really hurt the feelings of another. “Julian ran after me... ‘We could have been partners. You don’t have to be friends with that freak if you don’t want to be, you know...’ And that’s when I punched him. Right in the mouth.” (Ch. “Partners”) This was a conversation between Julian and Jack Will. Jack, who was also Auggie’s best friend, had stood up for him even when August wasn’t there. Jack was tired of Julian bullying
August; Jack was the honest and fearless friend. Jack’s kindness is shown when he says,
“Fourthly, now that I know him, I would say I actually do want to be friends with August.
At first, I admit it, I was only friendly to him because Mr. Tushman asked me to be especially nice and all that. But now I would choose to hang out with him. He laughs at…