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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Identity

Who is Charlotte Doyle? That's the question this novel asks us not once, not twice, but like about a billion different times. Is Charlotte her father's daughter? Is she Zachariah's friend? Is she...

Gender

Charlotte Doyle is a girl who dresses as a boy. From this we can assume that this novel wants us to think about gender and what it means to bend it, shape it, any way you want it. For example, Char...

Transformation

Avi's novel is about changes of all shapes and all sizes, transformations of all kinds and degrees. Charlotte is a proper young girl, but then she's dressed like a boy. The sea is calm, and then it...

Race

Race plays an enormous role in The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle since Zachariah, one of the book's most significant characters, is black. Zachariah's race, he tells us many times, is one of...

Rules and Order

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle dramatizes the conflict between an individual (Charlotte) and an oppressive system of rules and order (Captain Jaggery's tyrannical rule). Charlotte sees for...

Justice and Judgment

While we might think of justice and judgment as absolutes, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle suggests that these concepts – especially "justice" – can mean different things to different p...

Education

A novel of education like The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle presents us with many different kinds of learning to think about. As a young girl, Charlotte is educated at Barrington School for B...

Choices

"To be or not to be? That is the question." OK, fine, it's not the question here. That would be Hamlet. The question for this book might be something more along the lines of "To do or not to do?" O...

Appearance

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle lets us see the world through Charlotte's eyes, and as it turns out, she has quite an eye for detail. Her writing is characterized by long and vivid descript...

Society and Class

Let's face it: When Charlotte Doyle boards the Seahawk, she's a pretty big snob. With her nose in the air, she rejects poor Zachariah's friendship and chooses to join forces with the captain. How c...

Literature and Writing

The written word is a mighty powerful thing. How do we know? Well, without it we wouldn't have Charlotte Doyle's narrative. (That is, the story she tells about herself.) For the novel's main charac...

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