In what ways does Shawn misunderstand the world around him Stuck in Neutral?

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Shawn McDaniel is the main protagonist in the 2001 young adult novel Stuck in Neutral written by American author Terry Trueman . Trueman incorporates a plethora of socially important, slightly philosophical themes such as the importance of family, love, acceptance, life with physical disabilities, and even euthanasia. Thus, the story...

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Shawn McDaniel is the main protagonist in the 2001 young adult novel Stuck in Neutral written by American author Terry Trueman. Trueman incorporates a plethora of socially important, slightly philosophical themes such as the importance of family, love, acceptance, life with physical disabilities, and even euthanasia. Thus, the story follows a 14-year-old boy named Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Throughout the book, Shawn shows us that he is very insightful, very intelligent, and occasionally quite funny. However, as he cannot speak and cannot move, he cannot properly express himself. I believe that Shawn might be the only character in the book who has a firm grasp of reality, despite his condition. Thus, I feel that he doesn't really misunderstand the world. I believe that he wishes to be understood by the people who are closest to him, and he wants them to realize that he just wants to live life and try to enjoy it as much as he can.

Shawn's father is also quite intelligent, and he thinks that maybe killing his son and ending his suffering is the best solution for everyone. This complicated father-son relationship is pivotal when determining who truly understands or misunderstands the world. I believe that Shawn has a very open and optimistic view on life; he is mentally more mature than other kids his age, and despite his young age and his disease, he is still very bright and hopeful. His father, on the other hand, has a very black-and-white outlook on life despite his intelligence. Thus, I believe that Shawn might be the only one who truly understands both the world and the meaning of life. The fact that the novel has an open ending and the readers get to decide what happens with Shawn only further solidifies my point, as the book's ending is just as unpredictable as life itself.

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