Some say laughter is the best medicine. Is there evidence of fun moments in the novel Wonder? What are some examples and what effects did they create?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hello! There are a few comical, if not, fun moments in the novel. Since you asked for a few examples, I will provide that below:

1) When Auggie Pullman overhears his parents talking about sending him to fifth grade, he doesn't like it one bit. Auggie's parents love him very much but his father and mother are in somewhat of a disagreement about whether school would be good for Auggie.

At the beginning of the novel, we are told that Auggie has had twenty-seven surgeries since birth. Auggie's mother feels that Auggie would be better served starting 5th grade as soon as possible. Since that is the start of middle school, and most kids will be new, she feels that Auggie will have a less trying time settling in. Auggie's father feels that his son needs to be protected for a little bit longer, and that sending Auggie off when he's not ready to go is akin to sending a "lamb to the slaughter." Auggie can't help overhearing this conversation as he is in the backseat of the car. Mr. Pullman uses humor to defuse the tension when he makes some funny comments about the principal of Beecher Prep and his old professor:

"Hello, hello? Paging Mr. Tushman!" He was using a fake high, old lady voice. "Hi, Mr. "Tushman! I see you're running a little behind today! Did your car get rear ended again? What a bum rap!"

"Hey hey, I know!" said Dad excitedly. "Let's fix them up on a blind date! Can you imagine? Miss Butt, meet Mr. Tushman. Mr. Tushman, here's Miss Butt. They could get married and have a bunch of little Tushies."

The whole family laughs; the humor becomes a pivotal and a crucial element in preserving the integrity of family unity (regarding the decision to send Auggie to Beecher Prep).

2) Later on, Mr. and Mrs Pullman are again in disagreement: this time, it's about Via taking the subway train home after school. Mrs. Pullman is worried about Via's safety, while Mr. Pullman says that Via is old enough to take the trains on her own.

"Isabel, she can take the subway!" said Dad impatiently. "She's a big girl now. She's reading War and Peace, for crying out loud."

"What does War and Peace have to do with anything?" answered Mom, clearly annoyed.

"Call me after school before you get on the subway!" Mom yelled at me from the window.

"War and Peace, Isabel!" he called out, smiling as he pointed at me. "War and Peace!"

Mr. Pullman uses his classic good humor to reassure his wife that everything will be alright. Humor often lifts the spirits and is a great tool for encouragement. Look for more of Mr. Pullman's humor throughout the novel.

Thanks for the question.