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Character Investigation

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Russell Ijaya

on 18 April 2014

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Transcript of Character Investigation

Character Investigation
~Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Explaining differences and similarities (Part I)
Explaining differences and similarities
(Part III)
Dynamic Character ~ Via
Flat Character ~ Ella
Round Character ~ Justin
Quotes from Page 304
Round Character ~ Justin
Justin is the boyfriend of Via, he is kind, compassionate and amiable. I consider him to be a round character; he seems to be somewhat complex and his personality has multiple layers, he even has his own part in the book. His story doesn’t exactly describe any transformation in him so he isn’t a dynamic character; instead he’s a round character. Justin plays a small role in August’s school life; scaring Julian. As well, he plays a major role in his own way though he’s a minor character. The story describes the interactions between characters and August (the protagonist), Justin is shown to have a perspective about him, but he doesn’t hate him or is mean to him. He’s okay with it. He ponders about Miranda’s phrase “the universe was not kind to auggie pullman”-Page 204 and decides that she’s wrong. That the universe takes care of all its birds, it is beautifully phrased in his own way, which everyone can be represented as a bird. “but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe makes it all even out in the end. The universe takes care of all its birds”-Page 204. Once before he did that when he comforted Via about her emotional stress about August “olivia reminds me of a bird sometimes, how her feathers get all ruffled when she’s mad. and when she’s fragile like this, she’s a little lost bird looking for its nest.”-Page 203. Justin is a minor but a major at the same time. The story would be missing a piece without him.
Flat Character ~ Ella
The flat character. The one that’s not really described. She’s presumably an ex-friend of Via, but when Miranda makes up with Via, I’m predicting that they all got back together again, seeing how Miranda reunites with the friend she once loved. It is possible this happened to Ella too, seeing how easily they become friends again. “They started leading me out the crowd, and I have to admit, for the first time in a very, very long time, I felt absolutely happy”- Page 248. Though she’s a flat character, it seems that she has a place in the story. She seems to be a betrayer, one of the girls that changes when they move to high school and would leave some of their friends behind. Ella gangs up on Via with Miranda, but this story seems to be more focused on Miranda than Ella. It is also shown that Miranda liked to play with August more than Ella and Via. “Out of the three of us, Miranda had almost always been the sweetest to August, hugging him and playing with him long after Ella and I had moved on to playing something else. Even as we got older, Miranda always made sure to try to include August in our conversations, ask him how he was doing, talk to him about Avatar or Star Wars or Bone or something she knew he liked.”-Page 93. Maybe this is why she is a flat character and Miranda’s not; because she can relate more to August. But her importance is that she gangs up on Via with Miranda, the effect wouldn’t be as powerful and she is described in Miranda’s description as not being as nosy. If Via was only friends with Miranda, when her friend abandons her, it wouldn’t have that big of an effect, the fact that Miranda was hanging out with only Ella, leaving Via in a desert with dust blowing around. “Miranda and Ella blasted off. They attached themselves to a new crowd destined for high school glory. After a week of painful lunches where all they would do was talk about people that didn’t interest me, I decided to make a clean break for it.”-Page 107. Her only role is that, but is there anything else? No I don’t think so, she’s simply not described enough to be round or dynamic. You can’t even consider her to be static since she is variable unknown when it comes to change. That’s all for Ella, not much but still makes a dent deeper in the story.
Venn Diagram ~ Protagonist and Antagonsit
Via, short for Olivia is August’s elder sister. I consider her as one of the dynamic characters in the book. A dynamic character is a character that changes, develops and grows through out the story. Via’s role in the book is showing off what it’s like to be the older sister of August, a section of the book (Part 2) is dedicated to Via and everything in her perspective. Via, starting with her love for her brother and describing how everyone is changing how “The galaxy is changing. Planets are falling out of alignment” -Page 83. When she moves to a new school, she wants to be not known what she was once known for; having August for a brother. She’s somewhat everywhere, crying from the stress of losing her friends, feeling overwhelmingly guilty for not wanting to take her family for her play and just August in general. She beats herself up for being human. She’s considerate and always places others in front of her, but sometimes she just cracks and she can’t hold it back anymore. “here she’s hit by another round of crying that doesn’t let her finish talking. i put my arm around her”-Page 203 Her actions prove that she is a dynamic character; changing and growing, her personality changing as the events unfold.. Via is a major side character that I really enjoy reading about but she is also critical in the story, being a major role model/elder sister for August. She probably has the most interactions with her little brother but they are both changing, but they’re still siblings and nothing in the world could every change that. “Now that we’re older, though, and I’m going to school and have friends of my own that I can hang out with, we never do that anymore. So it was nice hanging out with her, laughing and playing. I think she liked it to”-Page 281. She is the one that August finds secrecy in but also hides guilt in herself, for once viewing August the way others have. She is the one who helps others solve their problems but stowing away her own. Via is dynamic in everyway possible, a critical evolving character.

Though we see all of this deep meaning and though poured in the book, there’s one crucial thing about the characters, we shouldn’t treat them like they’re in high school, they are only in grade 5. A war? Sounds like something from early elementary school. No matter what a rich brat says, he still acts what age he is. Same with August, talking in babyish voices to his parents, whining. These are all things no many older kids would do. This is one of connections between texts and real world in terms of how they are linked in terms of the way they act.

Dynamic Character ~ Via
Role of characters and their development. One of the most essential ideals in a great book. Whether it be a protagonist, an antagonist, they are all important to keep a story interesting. Flat, round dynamic, as blunt as these words sound, when you relate them to character they become extraordinary words to describe the various descriptions and personalities that those characters are accompanied with. There are the characters that we love and hate, those who nobody cares about but we still love and those who are just being. No matter the character, a book’s mood or theme can take a significant shift when even one character is taken out. All characters have their own roles, though their personalities and situations may overlap. Such as protagonists and antagonists, though they are supposedly polar opposites, the characters might have a few things in common. Characters are just like unique individuals, though they may play different roles in the place we call the world, we can all have different and similar attributes or roles.
There are quite blunt reasons as to why Julian is my main antagonist. An antagonist is defined as an obstacle (normally an opposition) towards to goal that the protagonist is striving to achieve. Since the main character is obviously August, Julian is the clear choice, he’s stopping August’s in whatever way he can. From simple bullying acts to destroying his confidence with other people. Julian gets everyone over to his side by making everyone flocking over to the most densely populated side. Isn’t it a funny thing? Why do people go over to the side with the most people? Is it because of the multitude of the same reasoning and trends? “That’s when practically nobody was talking to us, and Julian had started leaving notes in our lockers. The notes to Jack were stupid, like: You stink, big cheese! and Nobody likes you anymore! I get notes like: Freak ! And another that said: Get out of our school, orc!-Page 208. These are just pure acts of bullying and disrespect, demoralizing August and his few friends but August perseveres through these events. “I know in school things got a little hairy with Julian at times”-Page 285. “I’d like to be able to say that Julian started treating me better , too, but that wouldn’t be true. He still gave me dirty looks across the room. He still never talked to me or Jack. But he was the only one who was like that now. And me and Jack couldn’t care less”-Page 283. Through and through, Julian remained an obstacle in August’s path but August was able to push past him, thus making Julian the obvious antagonist.
As mentioned before, it is obvious that August is the main character, he provides the most narration and is the character that everyone else is centered around. August is the one who has his ups and downs and shows more character development than most other characters, and he brings change in others. His main goal, which is the plot in August’s story, is for him to be accepted and others to treat him the same. “I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an Xbox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.”-Page 1. Sure, he feels ordinary, he wishes he were ordinary but he’s anything other than that. In my view, he’s extraordinary, to live in his conditions and manage, it’s probably extremely hard and everyday you wish that you wouldn’t see those glancing eyes everywhere, feeling petrified by those eyes. Inferring using the statements that he feels ordinary, I’m making a fairly simple presumption that he wants others to view him as them. Equal as any other human being on the planet. Overall, the protagonist achieves his goal with everyone in his school accepting him and overcoming the antagonist.
Overall, my character investigation has shown many things. Protagonists and Antagonists can either be completely different or have identical characteristics, the variety of different characters with different levels of excitement are important. From being flat to dynamic, both are important but it’s simply that dynamic characters are more focused than flat characters which are broader. The personalities and excitement in character, like a drama piece or a section of theatre, it is exciting how so many characters impact the protagonist or how the protagonist affects so many people. Interesting characters are key to an interesting story, great books are written with characters you fall in love with.
Thanks for reading!
~By Russell 7H
Julian and August. Two fifth graders who appear to be completely distinct. Polar opposites; the antagonist and the protagonist. Julian appears to be the annoying jerk that somehow gets everyone on his side while August is the sillier, more comfortable kid to be around that we like; but he has a physical genetic problem with his face. They’re both still kids, so they ought to have at least a few similarities but due to their personalities, they have even more differences.

First off the bat; Julian self-consciousness and awareness that he wants people to be with him, to admire him so he can show off. He wants to be what we know as popular. People who know him state this and his actions and words show this as well ““Ugh. Why Julian?” “You used to be friends with Julian!” “Mom, that was like in kindergarten. Julian’s the biggest phony there is. And he’s trying so hard to be popular all the time””.-Page 139 “So today at recess I was hanging out with Julian and Henry and miles. Julian, who everyone knows is rich, was like, “I hate that I have to go back to Paris this Christmas. It’s so boring!””-Page 149. Tying on to these facts, he gets everyone to be on his side because he’s “popular” and turns everyone against whoever opposes, like a king overtaxing his peasants. Immediately, we get this sense that Julian is this stuck up kid who’s spoiled and rich and wants everyone to think that he’s the best.

Next is August’s similar but quite distinct feature. August is simply trying to be accepted. He’s not attempting to become one of those popular jocks that everyone swarms around; he’s not trying to be a football star. He’s just being who he is but many are blinded by his physical features. “But I’m kind of used to how I look by now. I know how to pretend I don’t see the faces people make. We’ve all gotten pretty good at that sort of thing: Me, Mom and Dad, Via.”-Page 3 “I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.”-Page 3. He wants to be accepted but his struggle is that people aren’t taking a liking to him, especially with antagonists like Julian, convincing others to think like him. This is like our world’s first world countries consumerism. We are all caught up in the same ideal that the more we buy the better and that we always need more stuff. It’s like Julian’s the companies and the convinced people are us, we follow even though we’re not sure what we’re following. August’s goal is similar to Julian’s but quite distinct.

Moving on to a connection between August and Julian. Though at different approaches and levels, the gists of their separate goals are, be accepted. Julian’s is way more out of his head; to be the king of the jungle, to be the one the other kids looked up to. August’s is to get in the jungle, it all ties back to the jungle which symbolizes the social groups in their private school. August wants to get it while Julian wants to be known by all as the king which is in a sense the most popular guy. “The point is he’s really popular. And you know, my mom heard that his mom is pushing the school to review August’s application to Beacher.”-Page 171 “They all called me little dude now—even the jocks. These big dudes I barely even knew before would knuckle-punch me in the hallways now.”-Page 282. Julian achieved his popularity by simply being the rich, spoiled brat he is but August persevered through Julian’s shadow and came out on top.
Explaining differences and similarities (Part II)

Unlike Julian who is quite unexplained, August has two sides of a coin. One is the roar of a lion while the other is a bug hiding underneath the rocks. He’s quite brave and takes leaps of faith. Despite his physical appearances, he decides to step into the light and see a school for himself. ““I’m so sorry, Auggie, “she said quietly. Her cheeks were bight red. “No, it’s okay mom, really” “You don’t have to go to school if you don’t want, sweetie” “I want to” I said. “Auggie…” “Really, Mom. I want to” And I wasn’t lying”-Page 34. While his vulnerable side expresses his reaction to an overload of emotion. Often in the book, he has breakdowns of tears when emotional stress comes to him. “Everything that just happened kind of hit me and I couldn’t help it: I started to cry. Like big crying, when Mom would call “the waterworks.” I was so embarrassed I hid my face in my arms, but I couldn’t stop my tears from coming. The guys were really nice to me though. They patted me on the back”-Page 270. He always has people to lean, and that’s okay we all break down at one point and we just need some time to recover and just get back up again. Countless times this happens to August but the next day he wakes up and is ready to get back and fight the day once more.

Another comparison to add in is how they are both influenced by others and they are quite aware of how others look at them. “Via doesn’t see me as ordinary. She says she does, but if I were ordinary, she wouldn’t feel like she needs to protect me as much. And Mom and Dad don’t see me as ordinary, either. They see me as extraordinary” Julian gets influence from everyone, but an inference I’m making is with his mom. They constantly make this reference: “I heard that Julian’s mom actually photo shopped August’s face out of the class photo when she got it”-Page 158-159. As well., she is also constantly trying to pester the school to unenroll August. It seems that way. Meanwhile, August is kind and fun, like his parents and sister. Using inferring and information from the real world, it’s easily deducted that these characters are quite impacted by their parents.

Julian has a very strong voice in terms of what he thinks is “cool” and what’s “dorky”. He isn’t afraid of expressing these kinds of feelings. Due to his popularity, I am once again expressing how he wavers everyone else’s feelings, if they should probably just follow the “popular guy”. But what is popular is not always right. “I noticed right away that Julian wasn’t on our bus, even though Henry and Miles were. I figured he must be on the other bus, even though Henry and miles were. I figured he must be on that other bus, but then I overheard Miles tell Amos that Julian ditched the grade trip because he though the whole nature-retreat things was, quote unquote, dorky.”-Page 257. Though not in this scenario, he is very blunt about his opinions.
Once again, I will mention how key is character development throughout the story. August started with the lonely character role. Sadness and betrayal. Something that we might have expected. Yet still, Julian is still that rich brat who has everything: popularity, money, friends, riches, etc. But soon Julian starts to lose his touch and soon their roles are reversed. Everyone leaves Julian and his biased comments behind and move on towards a new dawn. Where everyone is comprehensive and don’t stare. They’re all friendly towards August. Julian is now alone, but he decides not to changes for the better but instead just completely goes away. This shows yet another significant difference. Perseverance, August had way more of it. He could’ve quit from the beginning but he chose to keep going. Connecting the two characters to each other now, they have both faced loneliness and the feeling that you are abandoned by the rest. Julian at the end and August at the beginning. Quotes from the book: “If every sing person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, wherever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than necessary—the world would really would be a better place”-Page 301. This quote, that everyone should be kinder than necessary shows the change that August gave to everyone, he made everyone kinder. Julian could’ve changed to, but he chose not to and simply ran away from the place where he was the king of the jungle. Though diverse, in different perspectives antagonists and protagonists can be in the same situation though at different times.
Yet another positive remark about August. He is very forgiving. When he was betrayed, he was able to forgive and move on. He was brought down to many tears because of this, but he was able to look at the future and the present and not dwell on the past. Page 164-167. It’s a text conversation between Jack and August, it’s no exactly in a proper sentence format but I wish to quote that entire segment, It represents how he was able to make up just like that, it all turned out even, it’s better to trust than to doubt.
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