How is Mr. Hoodhood affected by the Vietnam War in Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars? How was Holling affected? How was Heather affected?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, Mr. Hoodhood is somewhat emotionally affected by the Vietnam War because he sees what terrible losses the war is leading to, but in general, Mr. Hoodhood emotionally distances himself from the war because he is an emotionally distant person, mostly concerned with being a successful businessman.

We can see how emotionally affected Mr. Hoodhood is by the war when, each night, he watches Walter Cronkite on TV reporting the latest news of the troops in Vietnam. By March, rates of casualties are even higher, and Mr. Hoodhood begins voicing his emotions. In March, 5,000 marines were trapped in the Khesanh base. They could only receive supplies from helicopters, and the helicopters were frequently shot down by the 20,000 Vietcong troops surrounding the base. The Vietcong launched 500 mortar shells per day at the troops and filled tunnels with explosives. During the news reports, Mr. Hoodhood would sometimes "shake his head and whisper, 'Five thousand boys trapped. Good Lord. Five thousand'" and reach for his wife's hand, which shows how emotional he was about the news.

As a businessman, Mr. Hoodhood is a conservative who does not oppose the decisions of the government, including decisions to go to war. His greatest desire is to be elected the Chamber of Commerce Businessman of 1967. Because he wants the title, he warns his liberal daughter, who is becoming increasingly involved in the hippie movement, not to do anything foolish to prevent him from receiving the honor.

It is not an honor that is awarded to a man who has a daughter who calls herself a flower child. So go wash your face ("October").

While he finds the war emotionally distressing, Mr. Hoodhood generally refuses to become emotionally involved in the war because his priority is his work.

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The Wednesday Wars

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