Howl's Moving Castle Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- How would it change the resolution of the novel if Sophie did not return to her young self at the end? What do you imagine would happen if she stayed Old Sophie?
- We find out near the end of the book that Howl has been aware all along of Sophie's curse, and that he has been trying to cure her of it without her knowledge. Does this information about Howl make a difference to your opinion of their relationship? If Howl only discovered Sophie's curse in Chapter Nineteen (the chapter where Sophie finds out how much he really knows about her), how might that change the novel's development of their romance?
- [Spoiler alert!] In the Miyazaki film version of Howl's Moving Castle, Sophie doesn't have any obvious magical talent. Clearly, in the novel, the development of Sophie's magic is a key element of her character. How would it change your view of Sophie if she couldn't talk life into things in the novel? How would that change the events of the book overall?
- The third-person narrator keeps itself strongly focused on Sophie. But Michael's story, as an orphaned kid more-or-less adopted by a supposedly evil wizard, would probably also make a great novel. Howl's point of view as a former resident of our world and current magician in Ingary would probably also be fascinating. How would the events of the book be altered if the narrator chose a different character to emphasize? Whose story would you most like to see told from their perspective?
- Sophie and Michael spend almost no time in our world while Howl is trying to track down the source of the John Donne poem that finds its way into Ingary. If you had guests from Ingary in your town for a couple of hours, what would you show them? What do you think would shock them the most about our reality?
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