Where in the book Wonder does August display courage?

August displays courage throughout Wonder. In many ways, the book presents courage as one of his most important characteristics. Some of the instances involve him standing up to others, while others involve him forgiving people who have hurt him. The bravest acts occur when he must confront his inner fears, as he does when he starts school.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

August is represented as a courageous person throughout Wonder . While his bravery is more often displayed as his confidence grows, courage is one of his natural attributes that enables him to succeed by the end of a difficult year. In some places where he displays courage, he makes a...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

August is represented as a courageous person throughout Wonder. While his bravery is more often displayed as his confidence grows, courage is one of his natural attributes that enables him to succeed by the end of a difficult year. In some places where he displays courage, he makes a stand against other people’s bad behavior, and in other places he shows it through compassion and forgiveness after his feelings are hurt. August also shows how courage consists of addressing and then overcoming the things he fears most—beginning with entering Beecher in the fall.

The most visible aspect of his bravery comes when he disregards his own physical safety and places himself in harm’s way to defend a friend. August has endured considerable psychological bullying, but when he and his friend Jack are at camp, they are placed in a situation of physical conflict. August stands up to Eddie, the other aggressive boy who attacked Jack.

When August and Jack become friends, August learns to trust another person outside his family, which is a new experience for him. But when Jack seems to abandon him and join the others in mistreating him, he is left more alone than ever. Although Jack never fully explains his actions, the fact that he hit Julian alerts August that Jack is his ally. It takes courage for him to allow Jack back into his life, and their temporary separation actually brings them closer together.

Starting school was a challenge for August because his parents told him the decision was ultimately his to make. Related to this decision were the problems that his parents not only disagreed with each other but also changed their minds about where they stood. Parting from his parents and sister on the first day and entering the school alone required great courage.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the book Wonder, August has to show courage quite frequently because of his deformity and the difficulties he faces along with it. Early in the story, he shows courage on the first day of school. He’s very afraid and tells his mother the night before about his worries and fears. However, he perseveres and goes to school. In spite of trying to hide his face and the way in which he eats, he does eventually make a couple of friends that first day.

A second incident that shows courage is when August is at camp. A group of bullies is picking on him and his friends because of how he looks, and the group pushes his friend Jack to the ground. August steps in and faces the bully in spite of being a lot smaller than him, which shows a lot of character and resolve.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would argue that August displays courage throughout this novel. He agrees to leave his comfort zone and go to a real school despite his physical abnormalities and the fear of being bullied. Even after Julian is unkind to him while he and a couple of other kids are taking August on a tour of the school, Auggie decides to stick with the idea of going to school, even when his mother asks him if he'd rather continue to be home schooled. He faces up to his need to interact with the other children at Beecher Prep despite being called names like "Zombie" and being widely ostracized in the beginning.

He displays the courage to open his heart to new friends such as Summer and Jack. He even has the courage to go along on an overnight school trip, and when he is attacked by bullies, he handles the situation with such grace that some of his former enemies begin to respect him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

August displays courage in the beginning of Wonder when he makes the decision to attend school for the first time. When he first discovers that his parents plan on enrolling him at school, he is upset and nervous. He meets the principal and tours the school with three future classmates. Although one of them makes an unkind comment about his face, August is realistic about his facial abnormalities and hopes kids will eventually see him as just another kid. When his mother asks if he still wants to attend, August bravely accepts the opportunity.

Courage is displayed a second time by August after the loss of his dog, Daisy. The night of the loss, August goes to his parents' room to ask his mom to put him to bed. He sees his dad crying quietly. Realizing that his dad probably doesn't want anyone to know he's crying, August walks away. He finds his mom comforting Via. Instead of asking his mom to come with him, he allows her to have this time for Via. August typically gets most of the attention at home. He shows courage by walking away and putting himself to bed for the first time alone.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The two main events that display August's courage in Wonder are the scuffle at camp and the gathering after the graduation ceremony. At camp, August and his friends are confronted by some older kids who bully August about the way he looks. After the ringleader (Eddie) shoves Jack down, August gets in front of Jack to protect him. In this way, August stands up to the other kids and displays his bravery. August continues his courage when he says, "Look. . . we're a lot smaller than you guys." After this comment, August is roughed up by the seventh graders. August's friends are proud of August after this incident. Secondly, August displays courage at the end of the graduation ceremony after he receives his award. For the first time, August is brave enough to smile for pictures with his friends without worrying about what his face looks like. August immediately notices that his classmates are not avoiding him at all. In fact, they are trying to move in closer to have their pictures taken with such a brave young man.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team