Because of Winn-Dixie

by Kate DiCamillo

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Who was Carson in Because of Winn-Dixie, and what happened to him?

Carson is a minor character in Because of Winn-Dixie. He is Amanda's brother, and he drowned after falling into a river the previous summer.

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Carson was Amanda's younger brother, and he drowned after falling into the river the summer before the events of Because of Winn-Dixie begin. Since he passed away before the start of our story, he does not play a direct role in the changes that take place in Opal's life. Indirectly, however, he plays an ongoing role in his sister Amanda's way of living her life.

Obviously, Amanda is heartbroken to have lost her brother in such a devastating fashion. According to Opal's initial impression, she is a mean-looking girl who is a firm rule-follower and has a way of always coming across as though she has smelled something unpleasant. This look of displeasure actually relates to her unresolved sadness over Carson's death.

When Opal later discovers what happened to Carson, Amanda's behavior makes sense, and Amanda is on the guest list for the party at Gloria's. Opal recognizes Amanda's need for love and friendship in the aftermath of her brother's death.

It is evident that Carson and his death have had a profound impact on his elder sister. In a tragically ironic twist, losing the close relationship that she presumably had with Carson has caused Amanda to push everybody away rather than accept comfort. Ultimately, Amanda learns that part of letting Carson go involves letting other people become close to her.

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