UNC Children's Literature in Elementary and Middle Schools discussion

Discussion prompt for Because of Winn-Dixie

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message 1: by Austin (new)

Austin White | 13 comments For those of you reading Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie, please post a quote reflecting the theme of love or friendship. Discuss why the quote resonated with you and how the quote reflects the theme of love or friendship. Thanks!

message 2: by Austin (new)

Austin White | 13 comments "Why don't you go on and tell me everything about yourself, so as I can see you with my heart." -p. 66

This quote reflects both love and friendship because, when we look beyond other people's exterior, we can see them for their personality and values. In friendships, this strategy encourages us to get to know people that might seem different on the outside but are actually quite similar or have a lot to offer when you get to know them on the inside. This quote especially reflects the theme of love because, in my opinion, it is a description of love. Putting something so complicated (love) into terms that are so simply is what originally attracted me to this particular quote.

message 3: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Colthorpe | 13 comments On page 66, after first meeting Gloria Dump Opal thinks to herself, "And because Winn Dixie was looking up at her like she was the best thing he had ever seen, and because the peanut-butter sandwich had been so good, and because I had been waiting for a long time to tell some person everything about me, I did." This quote caught my attention because it shows that although friendships don't always come in the form that we expect, they always seem to come at just the right time. Opal never expected to make friends with the blind old lady that everyone accused of being a witch, and yet here she was spilling her entire life story to her. I also liked this quote because it showed Winn Dixie's positive impact on Opal's life as well. Had it not been for her crazy dog she never would have stumbled upon Gloria Dump's home in the first place. Winn Dixie led Opal to places she had never been and introduced her to people she never would have imagined befriending. We never know who is going to have the ability to change our life, be it another person or, in this case, a dog. As this quote shows, however, life is too big to carry on our own and for this reason we must always remember to open up and let others in.

message 4: by Adriana (new)

Adriana Simmons | 12 comments Gloria Dump:
"Why don't you go on and tell me everything about yourself, so as I can see you with my heart," (from page 66).
This is my favorite quote from the entire novel, and my main take-away. It's beautiful because Dump is symbolic of this theme, herself. At first Opal is afraid of this "witch lady," but once she really gets to know the person within, rather than the physical appearance, she makes a strong, lasting friendship. Real love focuses on the inside, not the outside.

message 5: by Ariana (new)

Ariana | 12 comments "There ain't no way you can hold on to something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it."

The end of the novel concentrates on the theme of truly valuing what you have. This is important in friendships because any day something could happen to change everything. An important part of a friendship is appreciating the other person fully and what they have to offer.

message 6: by Hanna (new)

Hanna Siler | 13 comments " Thank God your mama left me you." And he hugged me tighter. - pg 131

This quote cleared the confusion that Opal had when she tried to understand her father's relationship with her mother. I think this signified a turning point in their relationship in which Opal not only thought of her father as "preacher" but as her loving father and the only parent she was ever going to have. This show the love that her father has for Opal even if he sees his wife in Opal every day. This shows that he has the love and energy to love all of Opal every day. I feel as though this also signifies the realization that Opal's mother is not coming back and you just have to stop searching for something that is never coming back.

message 7: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 12 comments “Thinking about her was the same as the hole you keep on feeling with your tongue after you lose a tooth. Time after time, my mind kept going to that empty spot, the spot where I felt like she should be.” pg 132

This quote reflects the theme of love and loss in Because of Winn Dixie. All of the characters Opal meets have loved something dearly and lost it: their brother, eyesight, freedom, or family. Opal is learning to deal with her mother leaving and describes the feeling of loss in perfect childlike terms. As Gloria Dump says, everyone has lost someone, and Opal helps the reader relate their loss to the feeling of losing a tooth. You've had something or someone for as long as you can remember, until it's taken for granted, and then one day you wake up and feel for it and it's not there. This quote does offer hope that all of the characters will find someone to replace their loss, much like a new tooth coming in.

message 8: by Hillary (new)

Hillary | 12 comments My favorite quote from the book and the one I think resonated with me the most about love and friendship was from the prayer the preacher says at the barbecue. He says "We appreciate you for the complicated and wonderful gifts you give us in each other. And we appreciate the task you put down before us, of loving each other the best we can, even as you love us" (pg. 153). I feel like this quote completely embodies what friendship is. They are amazing, but frustrating all at the same time. However, being friends with someone is about loving another person for their positive and negative attributes. Getting annoyed or upset with someone, but always coming back because you know the value in your relationship with them. I think that this is one of the best things about friendships. They are not perfect, but what would life be without them. Overall, I think this was a really powerful quote from the book.

message 9: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Levanson | 12 comments My favorite quote from the book was "He misses you and I miss you, but my heart doesn't feel empty anymore. It's full all the way up."
I love this quote because it shows that you can move on from loss and heartache with help of good friends and loving family. Opal and her father are always gonna miss their mom and wife respectively, but thanks to Opals new friends in Naomi and amazing dog Winn-Dixie, she doesn't feel so sad anymore. A dogs love is an extremely special one, and the Winn Dixie has changed Opal's life for the better! :)

message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Goley | 11 comments pg 78 "All of a sudden it was hard for me to talk. I loved the preacher so much. I loved him because he loved Winn-Dixie. I loved him because he was going to forgive Winn-Dixie for being afraid. But most of all, I loved him for putting his arm around Winn-Dixie like that, like he was already trying to keep him safe."

This was one of my favorite parts of the book. Opal has an interesting relationship with her dad, calling him preacher all of the time, but he really cares for her. I don't think she really loved her father just because he loved Winn-Dixie, but the dog gave her an easier way for her to express her love for him and to realize it.

message 11: by Katharine (new)

Katharine | 8 comments "There ain't no way you can hold on to something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it."

I love this quote because of how much truth can be found within it. To a young child or even to an adult, it is easy to be consumed with holding on to something wonderful, like the memory of a past relationship or friendship. Yet, time has the ability to change people and friendships, and what was once something wonderful can change into something less perfect than what is remembered. Sometimes it is better to let an old friend or an old recollection remain in the past so that there is room to grow and experience new friends. This can be seen with the the pastor and the constant burden his wife's memory has on him. By holding on to someone that wants to go, it only makes it harder for both people to move on.

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