Running Dream By Wendelin Van Draanen: Character Analysis

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In the book The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, we are introduced to the protagonist; Jessica, who loses one of her legs in a bus accident. While Jessica is in a wheelchair for a short period of time, she is placed to sit next to Rosa, the “special-needs girl who sits at the back of the classroom”. As the book develops, Jessica realizes that Rosa is so much more. Rosa is accepting, optimistic, ingenious, and philanthropic. Their friendship impacts Jessica’s acceptance of her own disability. One way Rosa and Jessica’s friendship influences Jessica’s acceptance of her own disability is Rosa’s acceptance of her disability. While passing notes in class, Rosa asks when Jessica will be getting her leg. Jessica responds “Maybe next week?”(107). Rosa responds with “ALREADY? WOW! Congratulations! You are SO LUCKY!” (107). Rosa is affected by cerebral palsy which is a disorder of movement of muscles. In this moment, Jessica realizes that Rosa will never be able to walk or stand while she is privileged to be getting a prosthetic leg to walk in. She realizes that some people may have it much worse and accepts that her disability isn’t the worst possible outcome of what happened.…show more content…
Although Rosa is overlooked by her classmates, while spending time with her, Jessica learns that she is a math genius. Jessica learns how to understand Rosa’s speech and sees beyond her disability. She realizes that people will not disclude her and will be able to see beyond her disability at some point as well. Among finally getting her prosthetic leg, Jessica proves to everyone that she should not be judged by her disability and in turn accepts her disability
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