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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

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...

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 langu...

Family

Ah, family. They love you, support you, take you in when no one else will, and put up with all your crazy issues—at least, they're supposed to. And boy does Ella's family have issues. Her mother...

Wealth

Money can't buy happiness, but you wouldn't know that from the behaviors of most of the characters in Ella Enchanted. From Ella's dad the conniving trader to the stepfamily who is practically obses...

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...

Society and Class

Clearly class is an issue in any retelling of "Cinderella," which ends with the downtrodden heroine marrying a prince. But since Ella Enchanted is novel-length instead of fairy-tale-length, there's...

Rules and Order

Tangled up in Ella Enchanted's hot mess of wealth and power and social class is a major emphasis on rules and order. This works on two levels: the pressure for people to act according to the rules...

Choices

What would it be like to live a life completely constrained by obedience, and never get to make your own choices? Ella Enchanted has the answer: not too awesome. Sure, Ella can decide what she eats...
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