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Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Appearances

With all of the enchantments in Howl's Moving Castle, we learn early on not to take people's appearances for granted. After all, Sophie may take advantage of her old age curse to take a break from...

Freedom and Confinement

There are two kinds of obvious confinement in Howl's Moving Castle: there's magical confinement—like the contract that keeps Calcifer bound to Howl's fireplace—and there is also mental confinem...

Family

Howl's Moving Castle portrays a lot of different kinds of family. On the blood side, we've got the Hatters (a.k.a. Fanny, Sophie, Lettie, and Martha) and also Howl with his sister Megan and her hus...

Old Age

Howl's Moving Castle definitely does not present old age as something to be feared. Sophie may have her fair share of aches and pains, but she actually finds being old quite liberating: suddenly, s...

The Home

A lot of the homes in Howl's Moving Castle clearly match the people they belong to. Howl is constantly changing his positions and his ideas—and so he lives in a moving castle. The Witch is totall...

Morality and Ethics

When Howl and Sophie are rushing back to the moving castle to fight off Miss Angorian for the last time, Sophie shouts, "I'm the eldest! […] I'm a failure!" and Howl replies, "Garbage! […] You...

Identity

The relationship between magic and identity in Howl's Moving Castle is deeply complicated. When Sophie is transformed into an old woman, she decides not to mind too much because "this is much more...

The Supernatural

We know, we know, obviously the supernatural is important in this book—it's a fantasy novel, after all. But Howl's Moving Castle never takes its supernatural elements for granted. In fact, the fi...

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