Wonder Literary Elements



Setting and Context

Present-day New York City, in an Upper Manhattan neighborhood called North River Heights.

Narrator and Point of View

The novel's protagonist is August Pullman, a ten-year-old who was born with a facial deformity. However, in terms of point of view, the sections shift among Auggie, his sister Via, his friends Jack and Summer, Via's boyfriend Justin, and Via's friend Miranda.

Tone and Mood

Since Palacio's novel tells a story about middle-school children, the tone is usually lighthearted. The mood gets heavier and more serious, though, as Auggie faces instances of unkindness from his classmates.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Auggie is the primary protagonist; a cruel kid in school, Julian, is the main antagonist. Society itself is also an antagonist, because others perceive Auggie as strange and scary simply because of how he looks.

Major Conflict

Auggie begins fifth grade at a real school for the first time, and must surmount day-to-day obstacles. He struggles to get the other kids in his grade to accept him and to understand that there is more to him than the way he looks.


The novel's climax occurs in the last section of the book, when Auggie and Jack get into a fight with the older kids at the nature reserve. Fortunately, Henry, Miles, and Amos come to help their two classmates.


There are a number of clues that foreshadow the death of the Pullmans' dog Daisy: for instance, when Justin first meets her, Daisy has just thrown up all over the Pullmans' hallway.




Each section from a different character's perspective begins with a quote from a famous song or text, typically some kind of inspirational message. Additionally, there are many allusions to Star Wars events and characters in the book, since Star Wars has been an obsession of Auggie's since he was very young.


See separate section on imagery.




In many ways, Via's struggle to fit in at a new school parallels Auggie's own struggle to do the same. Both have to make new friends, and both are fighting to be known for something new: Auggie for something other than his face, and Via for something other than having a deformed little brother.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



There are many examples of personification in this story. One of these involves Auggie's mother: Auggie says, "her smile kind of hugged me," (p. 11) which emphasizes the love his mother has for him and the way even just one of her smiles can bring him comfort.