Wonder Summary and Analysis of Part VI: August


For their science project, Jack and Auggie make a battery that powers a lamp by utilizing a potato, and get an A for their work. They display their work at the science fair; however, Auggie is uncomfortable because all of the parents and grandparents of the students in the science fair stare at him. He hates events like this, which put him on display for other kids' parents to look at.

The war between Julian's group and Jack's allies continues on, and the two sides start leaving each other mean notes. Jack and Auggie invent a fake girl named Beulah who has a crush on Julian and leave notes from her in Julian's locker. As time goes on, though, the other kids start to get sick of the war, and people stop buying into Julian's ideas. By the end of March, only Miles and Henry are left on Julian's side. People have also stopped playing the Plague game behind Auggie's back and actually start joking around with him in a friendly way.

Auggie learns that he has to start wearing hearing aids. He has known that this change was coming since he was little, but now the ocean sound that is always in his head has gotten louder and drowns out people's voices. The hearing aids he must wear are large and clunky, and are attached to a headband. Auggie thinks he looks like Lobot from Star Wars and protests at first, but then he turns the hearing aids on and is amazed by how well he can hear. He calls the new sensation "hearing brightly." Auggie is surprised that no one makes a big deal out of his hearing aids when he goes back to school.

Later, Auggie's mom finds out that Via did not tell her about the school play and gets very angry. Auggie asks about the play at dinner, and his parents try to say that it is not a play for kids his age and that he would be bored. Yet Auggie realizes what is going on: Via does not want her high school friends to know about him. Auggie runs up to his room and waits for a long time for Mom to come up and comfort him, but she never does -- instead, Via comes to see him, looking afraid, and says that Daisy is very sick and that Auggie needs to come say goodbye.

Daisy is old and has been having problems lately, but after Auggie went upstairs she started whimpering and panting, clearly in pain. Auggie's parents think it might be time to say goodbye to her because they do not want her to suffer. Via and Auggie say goodbye and then hold each other as Mom takes Daisy to the emergency vet, crying.

Justin comes over shortly after to express his condolences. Eventually Mom and Dad come back from the vet alone, and it becomes clear that Daisy is gone. The vet found a huge mass in her stomach that was making it hard for her to breathe: the Pullman parents had Daisy put to sleep because they did not want her to suffer any longer. Auggie has never seen his father cry until tonight. The whole family is distraught, and Auggie thinks about Daisy as he falls asleep that night.

In the middle of the night, Auggie wakes up and goes into his parents' room. He apologizes for what he said earlier. He asks if Daisy is in heaven with Grans now, and his mother says yes. They have an important conversation about how no one looks the same when they get to heaven, and Auggie likes the idea of being in heaven someday and not having his face matter anymore.

Via eventually brings home three tickets to her school play for her parents and Auggie: the fight is never spoken of again. The Pullmans go to the play and sit and read the program before it starts; Miranda is the lead female character, Emily, and Via is her understudy. But when the play starts, Auggie and his family get a huge shock: it's Via playing Emily, not Miranda.

The play is incredible, and Via and Justin deliver exceptional performances. The Pullmans make their way backstage to congratulate the actors and actresses, and the family dotes on Via. Via says that Miranda got sick right before the show started: there was not even time to make an announcement about the switch. Via introduces her family to her director, Mr. Davenport, who tells the Pullmans that they should be very proud. Yet he freezes when he looks at Auggie for the first time. As Auggie's parents and Via mill around in the crowd, Auggie suddenly finds himself alone -- until someone hugs him from behind, and he realizes that it is Miranda.


The last few sections have been dedicated to describing Auggie's struggles from the perspectives of the people around him; now that the novel's point of view has shifted back to Auggie himself, readers get a chance to see how he has grown and changed over the course of his months in school. Auggie's description of his experience at the science fair says a lot. As someone who has been treated as a spectacle his whole life, he is used to people looking at him strangely -- but not so used to it that he is comfortable with an enormous number of people staring at him.

Auggie is just like any other kid, extremely self-conscious when put on display. It is interesting that the parents, even more so than the children, are the ones who continue to treat him as though he is some kind of unusual zoo animal. These scenes show that compassion and tolerance are not necessarily learned with age.

This contrast between the children's and the parents' treatment of Auggie is underscored by the fact that, in school, people are behaving much more kindly towards Auggie. The other students have stopped playing along with Julian's crazy "war" antics and have instead begun to accept Auggie as one of them, just like any other fellow student. While age might not necessarily breed compassion, familiarity does. Auggie's presence in school is a great lesson for all the other students, who, by spending time with Auggie, slowly begin to learn that people who may look different on the outside may not be so different on the inside.

These chapters contain many major shifts for Auggie, who is on his way to a new level of maturity over the course of this bildungsroman. One of these is his attitude towards his hearing aids. Auggie has spent his entire life worrying about what others will think of his appearance, and rightfully so. When he puts on the hearing aids, however, he realizes how important it is that he does what it best for himself in spite of what everyone else thinks. Using the hearing aids ends up working out for him, and he realizes that sometimes the things he worries about most can unexpectedly turn out to be fine. After getting his hearing aids, Auggie begins to sense the world in an entirely different way -- both figuratively and literally.

Daisy's death is another major shift in Auggie's life. Daisy is a symbol of Auggie's childhood, a friendly figure who has always been around to comfort him and cuddle him, almost like a living security blanket. Now, after Daisy's death, Auggie will be forced to grow up, move on, and face the world without her, something that will certainly be difficult for him to do. But just as she did throughout her lifetime, Daisy in death brings the Pullman family together, erasing their spats with one another and helping them to realize that family is the most important thing.

Auggie's short conversation with his mother about heaven mirrors the conversation that he and Summer had about coming back in a new life and looking different. Both of these conversations reveal Auggie's primary desire, which overpowers everything else: to be known for something other than his face. What he does not realize, though, is that he is already on his way to achieving something of this sort: while he cannot change how all strangers view him, he is slowly beginning to change his classmates' opinions of him.

The final scene in this section, at the school play, is important because Via, not Auggie, is at last in the spotlight. Via gets the attention and recognition from her family that she has been craving for so long. It is her time to shine. It appears that Miranda had something to do with Via's rewarding moment -- and since the next section is from her perspective, readers are soon to find out how Miranda has been involved.