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The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Transcript of The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
The Learning of Shakespeare and the Caliban Curses
Most likely to occupy Holling, or possibly even help him in the long run (because at that point, maybe she didn't "hate" him), Mrs. Baker has Holling read some of Shakespeare's play, starting with
The Merchant of Venice
, followed by
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar,
Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
. He begins to relate to them, and due to an explanation from Mrs. Baker about what Shakespeare wrote, he can reconcile with Meryl Lee after he used a mixture of Caliban curses (from the Tempest). These plays and curses become a part of him, which he really likes, and help him when he has to buy the class cream puffs (the first time), because he gets to be in a "Long Island Shakespeare Company's Holiday Extravaganza" play, when he didn't have enough money.
Romeo and Juliet
Holling, as an assignment from Mrs. Baker, had to read Romeo and Juliet. Reading it and hearing Mrs. Baker talk about how lovely and tragic it was probably influenced him to ask Meryl Lee out for Valentine's Day (which was coincidentally coming up soon). Probably because of Valentine's Day, the "Long Island Shakespeare Company" was putting that play on, which he got tickets to, and so began his relationship with Meryl Lee.
Start of Relationship with Meryl Lee
When this happened, his viewpoint changed, from no relationship (possibly a slight friend one), possibly even annoying to a point until this budding relationship. So the young friends spend more time together, especially when they thought that Meryl Lee might move away due to Kowalski & Associates (her father's company) not getting enough contracts because Hoodhood & Associates (his father's company) was getting all of them. Then, later when Mrs. Baker's class went camping, she helped him with cleaning the pots and she got his spot on going near the fire (when they were being chased by mosquitoes). This is all proven when, during a friend's Bar Mitzvah, he says "Meryl Lee. Can the world buy such a jewel?" (261).
Throughout the book, Holling made decisions that will affect him throughout his life. But not only did those things happen to him, but they changed who he was on the inside. 7th grade was (mostly) a good thing for Holling.
In the beginning, there seemingly was... Mrs. Baker's "hate" for our protagonist, Holling.
Holling, being the person he was, suspected that the second Mrs. Baker called roll, she hated him with a heat whiter than the sun. This idea continues, especially with all the things that happen to him, like Doug Swieteck's brother seemingly hunting him down. Or looking at him in a "suspicious" way, or smiling "evilly," seemingly trying to bore him to death. Which is why he made Meryl Lee look in his desk, just because he saw a slight "guilty" smile on Mrs. Baker's face, making him think that she laid a trap for him. Then that caused some unnecessary tension with Meryl Lee. Meanwhile, while others are going to their respective schools on Wednesday, he has to read Shakespeare. But what stopped his suspicion was surprisingly Mrs. Baker supplying some cream puffs that he was supposed to bring, followed by the Shakespeare line, "The quality of mercy is not strained," meaning that mercy was freely given, and in turn, saved Holling from a number of "death threats" from his fellow classmates.
When his sister, Heather, broke loose...
... Holling realized that something was missing from the house. The music. The talks at the dinner table. He realized that something was missing from
. When she called , from Minneapolis, they cried, while she explained that Chit, the person she was driving with, drove off after she wouldn't get back in the car. To save her, he took out his "Salisbury Park Savings Bond" and sent the money to his sister through Western Union. Then, he hitched a ride will Meryl Lee to New York, and was finally reunited with his sister. He did this for family and to fix what was gone from his home.
Not for Holling...
The monster, Caliban.
The front cover of one of the editions of
The Wednesday Wars.