Because of Winn Dixie Characters: Traits & Analysis

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  • 0:03 Opal, Winn-Dixie, &…
  • 2:00 Gloria Dump & Miss…
  • 3:09 Other Characters
  • 3:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: April Gwen Ellsworth

April has a master's degree in psychology and has experience teaching special populations from preschoolers to adults.

Opal's father has a habit of touching his nose a lot when he's thinking, and Winn-Dixie runs around their trailer during a thunderstorm like a madman because he is afraid. Find out more interesting traits about the characters in 'Because of Winn-Dixie'.

Opal, Winn-Dixie, & the Preacher

Let's meet the characters in a distinguished novel from the year 2000 about friendships and relationships: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, an American children's book author who usually focuses her stories on the lives of animals. In this book, there are several main characters that the story is mostly about and a few characters we only hear a little about.

Let's first look at India Opal Buloni. Opal is 10 years old the summer she and her father move to the trailer park in the fictional town of Naomi, Florida. The trailer park manager calls her 'an exception' because she is a good, quiet kid. Opal has red hair and freckles, is a fast runner, and likes to be told stories about her mom, who left her and her dad when Opal was three years old. Opal is kind and caring, she is a hard worker, and she is persistent.

Now let's look at Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie becomes Opal's dog one day when she is at the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Naomi and sees the dog getting into trouble. To save him, she claims he is her dog and takes him home. They become fast friends, as everyone does with Winn-Dixie. Opal tells him, 'You are better at making friends than anybody I've ever known.' Winn-Dixie smiles at people with all his teeth showing, which makes them smile back! He doesn't like to be alone and is very scared of thunderstorms. He also likes to eat peanut butter.

Next, let's look at The Preacher. Opal's father makes his living as a preacher, so everyone calls him The Preacher, including Opal. He leads the Open Arms Baptist Church when they move to Naomi. The Preacher is a kind and generous man, but he is also sad a lot and like a turtle, 'hiding all the time inside his shell,' Opal says. He's sad about Opal's mom leaving them. The Preacher mutters to himself when he is preparing his sermons for church, and he rubs his nose often, too. He is strict but has a soft heart and loves Opal and Winn-Dixie very much.

Gloria Dump & Miss Franny Block

Now let's look at Gloria Dump. Gloria Dump becomes one of Opal and Winn-Dixie's greatest friends. She is an elderly woman who has crinkly brown skin, wears a big floppy hat with flowers all over it, and has no teeth, although she uses false teeth to eat with. Gloria Dump is very wise from the lessons she's learned in life. She has very bad eyesight, 'so I got to rely on my heart,' she says. She is also a good listener, and Opal says, 'I could feel her listening with all her heart, and it felt good.'

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