by Gail Carson Levine
Ella Enchanted Theme of Language and Communication
They probably don't hand out degrees in linguistics in Kyrria (no system of higher education, as far as we can tell), but if they did, Ella would probably have about three three. She picks up languages the way most people pick up sandwiches: effortlessly and enthusiastically. Ella's not the only multilingual character in Ella Enchanted, but her linguistic skills are remarkable among the humans, and are often remarked-upon. This goes to show us that Ella's smart and engaged with her world. We would totally bring her along on our Kyrrian road trip, so that we'd be able to order tacos in any language.
Questions About Language and Communication
- How are the characteristics of the magical races' languages similar to the qualities of the people who speak them?
- Which language seems like it would be most useful to know, for someone traveling in Kyrria?
- The only race that doesn't appear to have their own language is the fairies. Why might that be?
- Is communication one of Ella's strengths or weaknesses? How often does she tell the truth or lie?
Chew on This
Ella would not be as strong and well-rounded a character without her language skills.
The fact that Ella's curse is built upon communication (verbal orders) makes communication the central theme of the book.