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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Abandonment

Abandonment doesn't happen in a vacuum (not a Hoover vacuum, anyway). It always affects multiple people. For example, Opal's mom left when Opal was only three, leaving a trail of hurt behind her. H...

Compassion and Forgiveness

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...

Isolation

"All by myself/don't wanna beeeeeeee all by myself…" This is basically the theme song for Because of Winn-Dixie. Opal is sad and depressed until she meets Winn-Dixie, who helps her cowgirl up and...

Communication

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 communicati...

Friendship

Friendship can be complicated, for sure, but it's almost always worth the journey. When Because of Winn-Dixie begins, poor little Opal has no mother, no friends, and a dad who doesn't even have eno...

Family

Opal may not be a true orphan, but she sure could use a family. In her mind, a mother who left when she was three and a father who is more concerned with preaching than fathering just doesn't cut i...

Love

Sometimes, an injection of pure love is just what the doctor ordered for a suffering soul. And there are a lot of suffering souls in Because of Winn-Dixie. It's a good thing they have pure love in...

Courage

No, there are no flame-breathing dragons or even dark alleys in Because of Winn-Dixie. Let's face it, the scariest place is Gloria Dump's yard, and even that is full of trees and flowers. And yet,...
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