The Hundred Dresses

The Hundred Dresses Literary Elements


Children's literature

Setting and Context

An unnamed small town in Connecticut

Narrator and Point of View

The story is narrated in a third-person omniscient voice; the book is largely told from Maddie's point of view

Tone and Mood

The tone begins detached and matter of fact, though it becomes remorseful; the mood begins positive but becomes increasingly despondent

Protagonist and Antagonist

While it may seem that Wanda is the protagonist, Wanda is largely absent from the book, making Maddie the protagonist; Peggy is the antagonist

Major Conflict

The book's major conflict is that Maddie feels remorse for how she is helped cause Wanda Petronski to stop coming to school due to bullying.


The story reaches its climax when Miss Mason reveals that Wanda's father has pulled Wanda out of school and is moving to the city.


Wanda's empty desk foreshadows the eventual revelation that she has moved away.





Though it is seemingly absurd for Wanda to state that she has one hundred dresses, her claim turns out to be true when her drawings of a hundred dresses are revealed.


The lines from the Gettysburg Address that the class recites contain a parallel structure through the repetition of "the people": e.g. "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Metonymy and Synecdoche

When the narrator suggests that "Room 13 should be very proud" of Wanda, Room 13 is an example of metonymy, as it is a substitute way of referring to the pupils in the room.