The Smoke Signal

Why Every Teenager Needs to See the Movie “Wonder”

Deven Stokes, Community Editor

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Meet Auggie Pullman. A normal fifth grade student who lives in Manhattan and has incredible intellect. Auggie’s goal in life and his biggest dream is to become an astronaut. Most people would say that Auggie seems like an ordinary kid who lives a normal life.

But when people look at Auggie, they don’t see his wits, his smarts, or his big dreams. They only see what is on the outside.

Auggie Pullman was born with a rare facial deformity. Due to multiple surgeries, he was homeschooled by his mother during elementary school. When it was time for middle school, Auggie’s mother gave him two choices: to continue homeschool or to attend private school.

Once Auggie made his decision, his parents decided to enroll him in Beecher Prep. Throughout going to middle school, Auggie discovers how cruel the students can be. Auggie gets beaten up multiple times, called names, and continually stared at just because he looks different.

Even though he feels like everyone hates him, Auggie makes one friend, Jack. They become inseparable as they play on the playground, hang out at school, and make their friendship stronger.

When Halloween comes around, Auggie’s favorite holiday, he wears a Ghostface costume so he can spend one day of the year covering his face without standing out. Auggie walks into the classroom to find Jack talking to Julian, the school bully, about how he was faking his friendship to Auggie to be nice.

For the rest of the school year, Auggie is continually harassed by Julian and his friends. Auggie finds death notes in his locker and a photo of the class together with Auggie photoshopped out. Auggie finds that the word most people use to describe him is “freak.”

Eventually, Julian is caught, suspended, and is given consequences for his crude actions. Jack apologizes to Auggie and they become friends again. Every kid soon learns their lesson and they treat Auggie as an equal instead of someone different.

Perhaps the most important part of this movie is the ending where the main message is delivered. At the end of the movie, Auggie says, “If you really want to see what people are, all you have to do is look.”

At Ripon High School 61.5 percent of students claimed that they have been bullied by a peer or someone close to them. Out of the 50 students surveyed, 30% of the students claimed that they were verbally abused in person. Bullying is a form of abuse that needs to be stopped. 

Auggie Pullman’s main message to students is to not judge someone based off of how they look. Auggie’s mother said, “This [our hearts] shows us where we’re going. And this [our face] shows us where you’ve been.”

Bullying is hurtful, harmful, and in the end, everyone pays a price. Auggie Pullman is just one of the many kids who have been continually torn down by the negative side effects of bullying. The movie “Wonder” was designed to help students realize that it is more important to bring people up rather than to tear them down. August Pullman was a brave example of who every kid should strive to be: smart, kind, compassionate, and full of heart.  

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