What is the theme and evidence of the theme in Gary Schmidt's Okay for Now?

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The theme of “Okay for Now” has to do with optimism in the face of adversity, and the sense that, however bad things might be at any given moment, the future will be better. This optimism is not based on dumb luck, but on trust and hard work. There are many examples in the book, but one that stands out is the episode of the Broadway adaptation of Jane Eyre that Doug and his friend Lil are rehearsing. When Lil gets sick and cannot perform, Doug plays both his role and her role as Helen Burns; he is a hit in both roles, but his success is bittersweet when he learns that Lil is seriously ill in the hospital. Just like Jane climbs into bed with the dying Helen in the Bronte novel, Doug climbs into bed with Lil to comfort her fear of death.

Unlike in ”Jane Eyre,” however, Lil does not die, and Doug’s belief in himself becomes a powerful means for healing his dysfunctional family. The central symbol of this healing is the Audubon folio, which Doug tirelessly works to restore to...

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