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Themes

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's… well, who is it? An ex-con? Annoying boy? Uppity little girl? Town witch? Because of Winn-Dixie is chock-fulla characters who aren't really what they seem—or at least, there's more to them than first meets the eye. And guess what? People deserve love even if they don't wear a superhero cape at first glance. By learning to love people despite what they may have been in the past, Opal learns the value of having compassion for all kinds of people. By exercising her compassion and forgiveness muscles, Opal learns the value of human beings as a whole. Then she has the strength to battle her personal Lex Luthors. And you thought kryptonite was powerful.

Questions About Compassion and Forgiveness

  1. Should people truly be judged solely on their present actions without regard for the past? Why or why not?
  2. Why would the preacher make Opal apologize to the Dewberry brothers when they had been so rude to her in the first place?
  3. Which characters inspired Opal to show compassion for others? Which characters show compassion for Opal, and how?

Chew on This

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

The fact that Otis showed violence to a cop proves that he can never be completely trusted.

Under extreme stress, people may do or say things that they regret later. They should not be held accountable for those actions.

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