Blog 1: Wheeler Article Questions

  1. In the novel, many characters go out of their way to say that August “does not have special needs. He is neither disabled, handicapped, nor developmentally delayed in any way” (163). However, Wheeler notes that from a disability studies perspective, he is disabled. Although Wheeler accepts this categorization, why do the characters in the novel resist it? Does this represent a barrier between disability theory (i.e. academics like Wheeler and their analysis) and the lived experiences of characters/people like August?
  2. In what ways is Wheeler not critical enough of Wonder? What are some of the “less realist moments” (338) and how do they detract from the effectiveness of the work as a whole?
  3. Wheeler discusses how three major models of disability (social, medical, and monster) are depicted in the novel, which impacts August’s life most?
  4. Wheeler continually cites Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s “Staring: How We Look.” Here is a link to the whole book online (it is absolutely worth reading and is very accessible). Because I had read Garland-Thomson’s book before I was intrigued by all the staring in the book, the visual politics, and how aware August is of stare dynamics. How do you feel staring operates in the novel, and what is August’s relationship to it?




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