by Gail Carson Levine
Ella Enchanted Theme of Literature and Writing
Writing is a window to the soul in Ella Enchanted. Ella's and Char's letters reveal confident and clever people behind the pens, while the glimpses we get of Hattie's and Olive's letters (thanks to Ella's magical book) reveal them to be dull and greedy. The fact that much of Ella and Char's courtship takes place through letters is significant; it's like the fantasyland equivalent of flirting through texting and IMing (but with better spelling and grammar). Still, writing can be a double-edged tool: Ella is able to fool Char into thinking she never really loved him with a shrewd trick of her pen. Shakespeare's got nothing on this girl.
Questions About Literature and Writing
- Does Ella Enchanted suggest that writing letters is a good way to get to know someone? What are some of the drawbacks of communicating exclusively by letter?
- In which cases is penmanship indicative of character? How about spelling and grammar?
- You get to choose one character from the book to be your pen pal for a year. Who do you pick, and why?
Chew on This
In Kyrria, at least, the pen is mightier than the sword.
Had they been courting in person instead of by letter, Ella and Char wouldn't have gotten to know each other so well.