The Wednesday Wars Questions and Answers
by Gary Schmidt

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Why is Holling convinced that his teacher hates his guts?

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Holling is absolutely convinced that Mrs. Baker hates his guts—wrongly, it must be said—for a number of reasons. As a Presbyterian, Holling is left all alone in class each Wednesday while his Jewish and Catholic schoolmates go off to receive religious instruction. Mrs. Baker's none too pleased at having to babysit Holling during this time. But her irritation at the situation is misinterpreted by Holling as hatred towards him for causing such inconvenience. It's patently obvious that Mrs. Baker doesn't want to be there any more than Holling, and her negativity comes across as something much stronger than plain boredom and irritation.

But what really convinces Holling that Mrs. Baker hates his guts is her insistence on challenging his mind with the works of Shakespeare. Holling seems to regard this almost as a cruel and unusual punishment, as if Mrs. Baker's using the immortal works of the Bard as some kind of weapon.

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