Because of Winn-Dixie

by Kate DiCamillo

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What does Gloria Dump tell Opal about loving something in Because of Winn Dixie? What do you think this means?

In Because of Winn Dixie, Gloria tells Opal, "There ain't no way you can hold on to something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it." Gloria is saying that sometimes, the people and things we love leave us and that we can't prevent this from happening. She emphasizes the importance of actively loving whom and what we love while we have them in our lives.

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In Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie, Gloria tells Opal,

There ain't no way you can hold on to something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it.

In this quote, Gloria is explaining to Opal that sometimes the people and the things we love end up leaving us. She is stressing that when this happens, there is no use trying to make those we love stay. Trying to make someone stay with you who wants to leave is not good for either of you.

However, Gloria is not saying that love is an altogether doomed and useless feeling. In the second part of the quote, she is emphasizing the importance of actively loving who and what we love while we can. Just because someone or something may one day leave us does not mean that we should close ourselves off to love entirely.

This lesson about love is really important for Opal to learn, given what has happened with her mom. Consider how Opal feels frustrated and confused about why her mom left. This talk with Gloria helps her realize that her mom is not coming back, but that does not mean she cannot have love. She has family and friends who love her, and she can now understand the importance of actively appreciating and participating in that love while she has it.

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