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Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

by Gail Carson Levine

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Since Ella Enchanted is set in Kyrria, a made-up fantasyland, we weren't expecting to find many references to stuff from our world (philosophy, literature, etc.). However, there were a lot of references to European fairy tales, so we've listed those here.

Fairy Tale References

  • When Ella tells her childhood friend Pamela that she's under a spell, Pamela asks, "Like Sleeping Beauty?" (1.37)
  • The fairy-made book shows Ella a version of "The Shoemaker and the Elves" that changes things up: "In this version, though, each elf had a personality, and I came to know them better than the shoemaker. And I finally understood why the elves disappeared after the shoemaker made clothes for them." (8.24)
  • The fairy book shows "The Shoemaker and the Elves" again when Ella is staying with the elves. Slannen laughs when he sees it and exclaims, "We're so tiny in here! The elves can fit inside a shoe!" (13.43)
  • Ella reads another story in her book, this one "a sad tale about the genie in Aladdin's lamp. He had been forced by Aladdin's false uncle, the magician, to take up residence in the lamp and had been given power to grant everyone's wishes but his own. Before he was captured, he had been in love with a goose girl. The genie spent his years in the lamp longing for her and wondering whether she'd married someone else, whether she'd grown old, whether she'd died." (16.39)
  • Ella and Char explore the old castle during Sir Peter and Dame Olga's wedding, and while they're trying to figure out how not to end up horribly lost, Ella says: "Hansel and Gretel had pebbles and bread crumbs to show them the way. We have nothing." (21.47)
  • Olive begs for stories from Ella, including "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Beauty and the Beast." (23.56-59)
  • Ella ponders her predicament of not being able to be with Char while she's under the curse, unless perhaps he keeps her hidden: "And what would Kyrria think of a hermit queen? And how would I feel, locked away like Rapunzel in her tower?" (25.16)

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