The Wednesday Wars Questions and Answers
by Gary Schmidt

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In The Wednesday Wars, why does the narrator compare himself to Doug Swieteck? Use at least two details from the text to support your answer.

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The narrator compares himself to Doug Swieteck in September to emphasize that he isn't the kind of student teachers should dislike. He goes into detail about all the terrible things that Doug did: wrote a list of 410 ways to make a teacher hate you, included illegal items on the list, dyed a teacher's face mango, and got suspended for two weeks. Holling insists that he never did anything like that; he even stayed far away from Doug Swieteck so that nothing he did would cast aspirations on the narrator. It didn't matter though. Mrs. Baker still hates him very much, according to Holling.

He later compares himself to Doug Swieteck again to prove that Mrs. Baker hates him. Each student was assigned a sentence to diagram. Doug's was only three words. Holling's sentence was almost 50 words long. He sees this as further evidence that she is biased against him.

When Holling compares himself to Doug Swieteck, he does it to prove that he is a better person than Doug. He does it to show that he doesn't deserve what's happening to him. If someone treats him differently than they do Doug, then they must be prejudiced against him. It isn't until later in the story that he realizes he's being treated differently for other reasons.

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