What is the main lesson in The Wednesday Wars that the author wants readers to remember?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main lesson from The Wednesday Wars, a coming-of-age story about tranformation, revolves around finding friendship, love, and an expression of one's selfhood. The Wednesday wars are between Mrs. Baker and Holling. She is disciplining him and tutoring him, but soon they begin to mutually help each other and form a friendship that straddles the age and authority differences.

As Holling goes through his transformation, starting out as a isolated boy in middle school then becoming a boy with confident self-expression in middle school, he reaches out to rescue his sisiter, thereby putting an end to thier war against each other; he learns from Shakespeare important lessons on life and being, thereby putting an end to his war against lessons; and he is mentored and encouraged by the person responsible for his Wednesday wars, thereby putting an end to his war against Mrs. Baker.

In the end, Holling learns about and acquires friends as well as learning about and expressing love. He even has a romance of own with Meryl Lee. Moreover, Holling learns to express talents and intellectual abilities he finds within himself.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main lesson in The Wednesday Wars is that people are more complex than they first appear and that in order to get to know someone, you must move beyond superficiality. Holling Hoodhood, for example, first believes that Ms. Baker, his teacher, detests him because he is the only student who does not have Catholic or Jewish religious school on Wednesdays. As a result, Ms. Baker must watch him, and she initially gives him menial tasks. Over time, however, Holling realizes that Ms. Baker cares about him, as she encourages his interest in Shakespeare and baseball and cares for him when his parents do not. He also comes to understand that she has a complex home life, as her husband is fighting in Vietnam. Holling realizes that people are more complex than they first appear, in contrast to his ambitious and superficial father, who tries to judge everyone based on their position in the business community. 

eschool | Student

Holling was able to stand up to his dad, and finally tell his dad that he doesn't want to be like his dad, but to be who he truly is.


smac42 | Student


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The Wednesday Wars

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