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Little Words, Big Ideas
Usually we think of patriotism as a positive thing: it's healthy to be proud of your people and nation. But patriotism in this novel often comes across as negative and intolerant. Cedric and Ulrica...
Foreignness and 'The Other'
There are lots of novels out there that pick on one group as evil or wrong – they're 'Other,' or different from 'us.' And there are plenty of characters in Ivanhoe who try to treat Isaac and Reb...
It's not the memories of fighting in the Middle East that cause Ivanhoe most of his heartache; it's his struggles with his dad. The fact that he chooses to fight in the tournament at Ashby under th...
Ivanhoe may appear to be a straightforward story of swords, knights, and drama (you know, all that cool medieval stuff), but there are multiple characters, both good and bad, with a very strong com...
One big question kept popping into our heads as we were reading Ivanhoe: what's with all the disguises? You've got Ivanhoe dressed as the Disinherited Knight; King Richard I as "the Black Sluggard"...
Justice and Judgment
We have three very different judges in Ivanhoe. First (and least important), Ivanhoe gets to decide who is the prettiest girl at the Ashby-de-la-Zouche tournament. He's like a beauty pageant judge....
We all have things we have to do, whether we want to or not. When Bois-Guilbert loses the tournament match to Ivanhoe, we're pretty sure he doesn't want to hand over his armor and horse to this Sax...
Society and Class
We've gone on and on about the cultural conflicts in Ivanhoe. No one seems to get along, from the Saxons and the Normans to the Christians and the Jews. But let's not forget that even within these...
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