Because of Winn-Dixie

by Kate DiCamillo

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What are some major events in Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie?

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What are some major events in Kate DiCamillo'

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The book is entitled Because of Winn-Dixie because after naming and adopting the ugly, stray dog she finds at the Winn Dixie grocery store, the lonely, awkward Opal opens up and starts making friends with all kinds of people and misfits like her. The other important events in the book pertain to the breakthroughs that she has with these characters when she learns about secrets from their past, how they have similar feelings and experiences to her, and why she shouldn't judge them. For example, when Opal starts working at the pet store to afford a leash for Winn Dixie, she discovers that Otis, the ex-convict, has a special talent. When the librarian, Miss Fanny, gives her a lozenge candy that her great grandfather invented, she discovers that it has a secret ingredient that reminds people of something sad, and through the candy she learns more about a tragedy in each character's past that has affected them and made them who they are today. This new knowledge helps her understand her own feelings about her mother abandoning her and still find happiness. The story ultimately reaches the climax when Opal decides to bring all of her new friends together for a party and Winn Dixie, the dog that helped Opal understand humans, disappears.

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There are a number of major events in Because of Winn-Dixie. The event that causes the whole adventure happens when Opal and Winn-Dixie meet in a store called Winn-Dixie. The dog is making a mess of the store, so Opal claims him as hers. In order to convince the manager, she has to come up with a name for the dog. She calls him Winn-Dixie.

Another major event occurs when Winn-Dixie goes to church with Opal and her father. Her father, the preacher, ties Winn-Dixie up outside. However, when the dog begins to howl, Opal is allowed to bring him in. Winn-Dixie proceeds to chase a mouse throughout the congregation and drop him, alive, at the preacher's feet.

A third major event occurs when Opal meets Gloria Dump. Gloria Dump is ostracized from the community, partly because there are rumors that she is a witch. When Winn-Dixie runs onto her property, Opal must decide to go meet the "witch." Opal realizes that Gloria is not as bad as everyone says she is, and the two strike up a friendship.

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The first major event that happens in Kate DiCamillo's award-winning young reader's novel Because of Winn-Dixie is that the protagonist Opal meets Winn-Dixie. Opal had been sent by her father to pick up a few items at the Winn-Dixie grocery store. While in the store, the manager gets angered at seeing a stray dog in the store, which knocks fruits, vegetables, and even the manager to the floor. Opal is so struck by how happy the dog appears to be that she brings him home, as we see in her following description:

He was a big dog. And ugly. And he looked like he was having a real good time. His tongue was hanging out and he was wagging his tail. He skidded to a stop and smiled right at me. I had never before in my life seen a dog smile, but that is what he did. (p. 8)

Other major events in the novel concern all the many friends Winn-Dixie helps Opal make, starting with the librarian Miss Block. Opal starts going to the library in her new town each day to alleviate her loneliness, but Winn-Dixie hates this trip because he hates being left alone and can't go inside with her. To remedy the situation, Opal teaches him to stand on his hind legs and look into the library window so he can see her inside. However, Miss Block gets frightened when she sees him in the window, mistaking him for a bear due to a previous, terrifying encounter she had had with a bear walking into the library. Opal convinces Miss Block to let her bring in Winn-Dixie so that they can both listen to her long story of her encounter with a bear; thus, the friendship between Opal and Miss Block is born.

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