What are some good quotes from The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You and I might define a "good quote" in different ways, but I chose several quotes from The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt which reveal either theme or tone for the novel.

The first quote is spoken (written) by Holling Hoodhood, the only Protestant (non-Catholic, non-Jew) in his class at a Jewish school, and he is certain his teacher hates him when he says this:

Of all of the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun. … Me.

Holling wants nothing more than to get revenge on Doug's brother, the person who plastered embarrassing pictures of him all over the school; however, he believes the best vengeance is taken when the victim is unaware of who is doing the deed. Holling is able to pull it off just as he envisioned it:

In my mind I could see it all: I pull back my arm, plant my left foot, Doug Swieteck's brother comes sliding into sight, I release the fastball, his face turns toward me at the last moment, and the snow-ice-slush-spitball splatters against his nose. Perfect....

Vengeance is sweet. Vengeance taken when the vengee isn't sure who the venger is, is sweeter still. 

He is also able to connect his act with the play he is reading in class, Shakespeare's Macbeth. Literature, of course, is a common motif in this story.

After Holling helps his sister, Heather, get back home after she ran away, his relationship with her changes. They were not close before; in fact, Holling never even uses her name until after things between them change. Holling describes it this way:

Maybe the first time that you know you really care about something is when you think about it not being there,and when you know-you really know-that the emptiness is as much as inside you as outside you.... That's when I knew for the first time that I really did love my sister. 

Holling learns many things in his difficult seventh-grade year, including this:

A comedy isn't about being funny...a comedy is about characters who dare to know that they may choose a happy ending after all.


Read the study guide:
The Wednesday Wars

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