Analysis Of Jerry Spinelli's Wringer

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In a small Town called Waymer, there is a boy named Palmer who does not want to be a wringer. A wringer is a young boy who strangles pigeons which is part of the town’s tradition. During the town’s annual pigeon shoot it is an expectation that when boys become ten years old they become wringers. Jerry Spinelli’s book, wringer, is about the struggle to conform; in this case Palmer does not want to be a wringer because he cares for the pigeon. In the beginning of the book, it’s Palmers ninth birthday and he gets “The Treatment”. “The Treatment” is when an older boy punches you nine times in the arm. At that time, he was so excited about getting “The Treatment” and conforming with his group of friends by making fun of Dorothy, a childhood friend. But when Nipper, a pigeon shows up on Palmer’s windowsill, comes into the story it changes his thoughts and ideas on his feelings about being a wringer. At the end of the story, Palmer saves Nipper at Family Fest by picking Nipper up and walking away with him. Although this is an event that raises money for the town park, Palmer doesn’t think this justifies killing pigeons and he takes a stand.
Jerry Spinelli was born in Pennsylvania and raised his family there. He read about pigeon shoots happening 100 miles from where he lived and asked himself what would happen if one boy didn’t want to be a wringer?
He used that idea as the structure of the book. In answer to the question of how he wanted the reader to respond to the story, he
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