by Gail Carson Levine
Ella Enchanted Theme of Power
It's nice to be in control of your life, right? In Ella Enchanted, however, there are about a zillion ways that people can exert power over another's life. People gain (or lose) power through magic, heredity, money, duty, and love. The power to decide one's own fate is held up as something to strive for, even while the ties that constrain characters' choices are on display. To recap: power is awesome. But do any of the characters in the book hold absolute power? And would that even be a good thing?
Questions About Power
- Money is power, but knowledge is also power. Which is more powerful in this book?
- Ella spends a lot of her life feeling aware of her lack of power. Is she as powerless as she thinks?
- Each of the magical races seems to have its own type of power (social, magical, artistic, and otherwise). How do these powers compare to the kinds of power that humans show?
- Would you draw the same lines between little magic and big magic that Mandy does? What is each type of magic's relationship to power?
Chew on This
Ella's noble birth puts her in a privileged enough position that the spell she's under does not completely disempower her.
The power to disobey is part of what makes us human.