Wonder Summary and Analysis of Part VII: Miranda


The novel's perspective switches to Miranda, a character who has not played a particularly large role in the story until now. Miranda begins by talking about the previous summer, when her parents got divorced; because her father paired off with someone else right away, Miranda assumes that this relationship was the reason behind the divorce. She hardly saw her father after that, and her mother became very distant.

Miranda went to camp that summer even though she did not want to, and hated the experience. She knew no one there from previous years, so she decided to reinvent herself and tell lies when people asked her about her life. One day, she told people that she has a little brother who is deformed, because in the heat of the moment it seemed like an interesting thing to say. Miranda knew that spreading such a falsehood is wrong, but she has known Auggie for so much of his life that she feels entitled to this lie.

Miranda continued telling these lies and grew more popular; eventually, when she went home, she decided to reconnect with Ella but to leave out Via, since Ella would be an easier friend to have and would not ask her a lot of questions about the summer that she would not want to answer.

During the school year, Miranda seldom sees Via, and she and Ella badmouth Via behind her back because it is easier to alienate Via if they pretend that she has acted against them in some way. But Miranda and Ella are the ones who have changed; Via actually did not. Miranda remembers seeing Via's boyfriend Justin for the first time; she has a boyfriend, too, a varsity jock named Zack.

Miranda joins the theater elective primarily because she sees Via's name on the list; she then lies to the director, Mr. Davenport, and says that the school cannot perform The Elephant Man because she has a little brother with a birth defect. Her family, supposedly, would take issue with this play. After Mr. Davenport switches to Our Town, Miranda auditions for the role of Emily because Via is also trying out for it, not knowing that she would win out over her former friend.

Miranda talks about how one of the things she misses most about Via's friendship is her connection to Via's family. One day, Miranda calls the Pullmans to say hello to Auggie; her nickname for him is "Major Tom." Auggie tells her that he is going to a regular school now, and also tells her about the new friends he has made. She tells him to say hello to Via for her.

The opening night of the play arrives, but nobody from Miranda's family can be there, nor can her boyfriend. This upsets Miranda, because she has adapted to her part and knows that she will do a great job in the role. Yet none of the people closest to her will be there to see. She peeks through the stage curtain and sees Via's whole family in attendance, and immediately makes a decision. She tells Mr. Davenport that she does not feel well and cannot perform. He disputes her decision, but Miranda continues to refuse to go onstage, so Mr. Davenport sends someone to find Via and tell her that she will be playing Miranda's part. Via and Miranda switch costumes; Via sees through Miranda's lie and asks why she is backing out of her role, but before Miranda can answer it is time for Via to go on.

Both Justin and Via do a great job in the play, even though Via makes a small mistake with one line. After the show ends, Miranda finds Auggie and runs up behind him to hug him, so happy to see him after so long. His parents also spot Miranda and invite her out to dinner with them to celebrate the show; Miranda is at first hesitant, but then Via comes up, puts an arm around her, and insists that she join the Pullmans. Miranda notes that, for the first time in a long time, she feels absolutely happy.


As previously discussed, one of the most significant messages that Wonder relays is the importance of hearing multiple sides of any story. After Auggie's falling out with Jack, we learn about the situation from both Auggie's perspective and Jack's perspective. This balance of perspectives demonstrates that Jack is not such a bad guy after all and did have reasoning (however faulty) behind what he did. Something similar happens in Miranda's section; we hear what she has to say about the way her friendship with Via fell apart, while previously the only side that Wonder offered was Via's.

Just like Justin, Miranda has family issues that make her life difficult. Families like Justin's and Miranda's are starkly juxtaposed against the Pullmans, who have a close, loving family unit that has remained fully intact despite the struggles presented by Auggie's condition. The Pullmans' family dynamic explains why both Miranda and Justin end up loving the Pullmans and feeling comfortable around this family.

The dilemma that Miranda faces at camp is a common one for teenagers. Nearly everyone is guilty of spreading fibs, exaggerations, or untruths in order to seem more interesting. Miranda takes such tactics to an extreme, certainly, but her lies are not so out of place in a novel about how far some kids will go to become or remain popular.

What is most interesting is what Miranda chooses to lie about. Via has tried to distance herself from her brother when starting off in a new place, afraid that she will continue to be defined by Auggie's condition -- afraid, too, that she will not be able to make new friends and be her own person. Miranda thinks exactly the opposite; she uses Auggie's condition to make her popular, to attract friends because of the interesting and dramatic "life" she has created for herself. These two mentalities are polar opposites, and they distinguish the girl who has grown up with Auggie from the girl who has grown up around Auggie.

Even though Miranda has purposefully distanced herself from Via, it is clear that Miranda secretly misses Via and wishes that Via were back in her life. Miranda constantly thinks about her former friend, and does things like participate in theater just to be around her. Despite the fact that she's changed, Miranda still values the relationship she used to have with Via and cannot help but wish that circumstances were different.

Miranda proves her worth in the final part of the chapter, when she acts selflessly in order to help her old friend. She gives Via a chance to shine and impress the other Pullmans, a chance to be in the spotlight, which is what Via has been craving all along -- in all aspects of her life. Miranda then goes to dinner with the Pullmans at the end of the section, showing that, for true friends, it is possible to pick up where you left off. Via forgives Miranda, just as Auggie forgave Jack, underscoring the link between forgiveness and friendship that is central to Wonder.