Inferiority and Compensation in Palacio’s Wonder

Nien-Hsin Hsieh, Ya-huei Wang


The study is based on the theory of Adler’s inferiority complex and investigates how the influence of family and friendship can help children change their thinking when they encounter feelings of inferiority. Using the novel Wonder (2012), the study examines how the protagonist Auggie, suffering from Treacher Collins syndrome, after experiencing bullies and unfriendly treatment at school, manages to overcome his inferiority complex to adapt to his new school life and later reaches his individuation. Auggie must overcome his physical deformity, using positive compensation to reach his individual development and personal wholeness. By confronting his plight to manage his feelings of inferiority, Auggie develops concern for people, positively using compensation as a healthy desire to reach his goal for recognition and superiority.

Keywords: inferiority complex; individual psychology, compensation, individuation; personal wholeness

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/55-03

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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