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Themes

In Because of Winn-Dixie, everybody's got his or her own way of communicating. Sometimes it's easy to hit it off with others, like Opal and Miss Franny or Gloria Dump. But sometimes the communication barriers are padlocked tight. Like, what does it mean when someone totally ignores you? Or teases you incessantly? Or shuts down and hides from the world? Maybe a knee-jerk reaction isn't the best policy. Opal learns not to be too quick to judge—and more importantly, she learns that the best way to communicate is to listen. Go figure.

Questions About Communication

  1. Why can't young boys communicate? Okay, but seriously, why would the Dewberry brothers tease Opal in order to be her friend?
  2. Which characters need to be listened to in the story? Why does listening have such a big impact on their lives?
  3. How does Winn-Dixie communicate to others that he actually cares about them?
  4. Do you think most people prefer a good listener or a good conversationalist as a best friend?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Opal learns to communicate with many different types of people by listening to their stories.

Winn-Dixie, Amanda, and Gloria Dump became Opal's best friends because they all understand what it feels like to lose someone.

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