No gender, no Alanna: The First Adventure. If gender didn't matter in the society of Tortall, Alanna would declare her intention to become a knight, follow through, and everyone would live happily ever after. But that's not how it works. Noble girls are supposed to learn a little magic and a lot of etiquette, while noble boys are supposed to become knights. The thing about gender roles is that they're great if you fit in with their requirements, but they're annoyingly restrictive if you think outside the box. Alanna, as you might guess, is a wee bit outside the gender-role box. Okay, a lot outside. But she's not going let something like being a girl stop her from achieving her dreams.
Questions About Gender
Would you rather be a noble girl or boy in Tortall? Why?
Do you think Alanna's being a girl affects her training as a page? How?
Why do only boys train to be knights?
If you were Alanna, who would you have told or not told about your gender?
Chew on This
Alanna is a better page because she's a girl.
In the world of Tortall, men and women are inherently different from one another. Alanna is an exception rather than the rule.