Blog Post on Wonder

  1. What roles do race and class play in the socioeconomic dynamics of August’s middle school?  August is Jewish and Brazilian and  Summer is biracial.  Jack is white, but he lives on the “wrong” side of Broadway.  In comparison, Julian is white and extremely rich.  Is there a message of universal understanding of oppression?
  2. What rhetorical strategies are used to display disability?  Was this a conscious choice?  Was it well executed?  Did it add to the story?  Specifically, I’m thinking of Justin never using capital letters (and we can also talk about how August never gives physical descriptions, whereas Via gives lengthy descriptions).
  3. Mr. Tushman knows about the bullying, but he chooses to ignore it (this is reminiscent of Dumbledore knowing about how the Dursley’s treated Harry, but didn’t do anything about it).  Why did he do this?  Is the reasoning of “knowing oneself” and “personal growth” enough to not intervene? [I know the other post raises a similar question, but I want to reiterate it here because I think it’s an important issue.  Why must adults let children suffer in order for them to “succeed”?]
  4. Speaking of bullying, this novel is taught in middle school to start a conversation about bullying.  Do you think this is an effective lesson?  Or, is it completely ignoring the larger bildungsroman of multiple characters by focusing on Auggie’s “disability?”  Are we, then, promoting a form of ableism by focusing on the “disability” over all else?
  5. Speaking of ableism, the novel was written by an able-bodied woman whose child reacted negatively to someone else’s facial abnormality.  Does this change the way we view the narrative?


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