Kids get a bad rap. Adults think they are lazy or stubborn or, worse, naughty, and in a fight between parents and children, the parents almost always win. Totally unfair, right. Right. And The Borrowers doesn't do much to change that dynamic. Throughout most of the novel, youth is cast in a negative light—Mrs. Driver and Homily call kids like Arrietty, the boy, and even the young policeman named Ernie "wicked," "nasty," and "no-good," and most of the time the kids can't answer back. But in the end, the kiddos save the day, so really, who's on top?
Adults have more power in this novel. They tell the kids what to do, and even get to tell the story (we're looking at you Mrs. May!).
Youths have more power in this novel. Although the adults tell them what to do, the kids choose whether or not to obey, and they set everything in motion.