The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt
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How did The Wednesday Wars end?

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The Wednesday Wars consists of multiple storylines that come together at the end of the book after the main character, Holling Hoodhood, has weathered personal upsets and tumultuous times. He grew up in the 1960s in a time of social and political unrest, and he had been witness to disturbing events, including the Vietnam War and the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King. He had experienced a conflict in his personal life, too, as he dealt with an overbearing father and a runaway sister. By the end of the story, Holling has gained confidence in himself, and he is able to stand up to his father, who unlike Holling, believes that the most important things in life were business and social position.

Holling also learned to accept war and death as natural parts of life, but to focus on the good experiences that come hand in hand with the bad. After his sister leaves home, for instance, he realizes how much she means to him, and after, and after watching the horrors of the war, he enjoys the experience of watching Mrs. Baker’s husband return home. By the end of the story, Holling is also able to integrate what he learned from reading Shakespeare into his real-life experiences, which he realizes was Mrs. Baker’s intention all along.

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