Identify a character trait for Mr. Hoodhood, and an example to support this trait in The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Hoodhood in The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, is not a very appealing or sympathetic character. He is Holling's father and is not a very supportive man—much more interested in his own life and concerns than those of his son, he isn't much of a father to Holling, especially while Holling is in junior high which is a tough time for any kid.

There are several examples that support this assessment of Mr. Hoodhood. First, Holling's dad says he will take his son to an autograph signing by Mickey Mantle at the Baker Sporting Emporium; this happens to be the same night that Holling plays Ariel in local Shakespeare Company Holiday Extravaganza's presentation of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

While preparing for the performance, instead of encouraging his son...

...his father tells him to wear [the embarrassing costume] to please Mr. Goldman, who might one day need an architect...

In addition, Holling's dad (and mother) does not attend the performance in support of his son. Instead, he stay home to watch the Bing Crosby Christmas special on the television—but at least Holling's friends come to watch. When the play is over, his father is not there to take him to meet Mickey Mantle as promised. Holling runs to the emporium, only to have Mantle tell him to get lost because he is wearing tights, and Mantle won't sign anything for a boy in tights. Had Holling's father been there, the experience would have been decidedly different.

When Holling and Meryl Lee plan a date, and Holling doesn't have the money to take Meryl Lee out for "dinner and a show," instead of contributing, Mr. Hoodhood laughs, saying that if he gets the contract for building the new junior high (instead of Meryl Lee's dad), Meryl Lee's father's business may well go under (or be destroyed).

Although being a good father should be his most important concern, Mr. Hoodhood is more interested in his business and himself than his son.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Hoodhood, Holling's father, is ambitious and self-interested. For example, he is an architect who wants to win a bid from Baker's Sporting Emporium, a store belonging to the family of Mrs. Baker, Holling's English teacher. Each night before Walter Cronkite broadcasts the news on TV, Mr. Hoodhood asks Holling how things are going with Mrs. Baker. Mr. Hoodhood's intent is not to inquire how Holling is doing in school; he doesn't really care. Instead, he only wants his son to please his teacher so he, Mr. Hoodhood, can win an architect's contract with Mrs. Baker's family's store. 

Mr. Hoodhood is also a perfectionist. For example, he becomes upset when the gutters overflow and stain the corners of their house, which Holling refers to as the "Perfect House" because his father is so obsessive about keeping it perfectly maintained. The stain on the roof of the ceiling of the Perfect Living Room also makes him ballistic. Mr. Hoodhood is the type of cold person who cares more about his belongings than about his family and their wellbeing. 

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Hoodhood, Holling’s father, is neglectful. He is so intent on recognition and success that he pays no attention to his son. For instance, when Holling reports that he thinks Mrs. Baker hates him, Mr. Hoodhood shows complete disregard for his son’s sentiments. In fact, he condemns Holling and states that he deserves the wrath of Mrs. Baker since he instigated it. Further, he cautions him against offending Mrs. Baker anymore as that would cost his firm business.

In another instance, Mr. Hoodhood promises his son that he would take him to Yankee Stadium for his Opening Day but did not. He is so engrossed in his work that he forgets one of his son’s most important events. Mrs. Baker ends up driving Holling there instead.

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The Wednesday Wars

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