Study Guide

Ella Enchanted Chapter 18

By Gail Carson Levine

Chapter 18

  • Cyril huffs that Ella is probably yet another person who's come to ask Lucinda to take back a blessing given at birth.
  • Claudia asks Lucinda not to turn her into a squirrel like she did to another one.
  • Ella realizes she is in danger of becoming a squirrel, or worse, so she thinks fast.
  • Pretending to speak only Ayorthaian, Ella says that she was admiring Lucinda's beauty and wondering whether she was a fairy.
  • Lucinda proudly introduces herself, but Cyril and Claudia cut her off before she can out them too, saying that they're just shoemakers.
  • Ella carefully words her request to Lucinda: she's always been meek and would like more mettle.
  • Lucinda recognizes Ella as someone "blessed" with obedience, and tells Ella to be happy with her blessing. As in, Lucinda orders Ella to be happy about being forced to follow orders.
  • Before Ella can protest, the order takes hold and suddenly she's overjoyed at how things have worked out.
  • Then Lucinda tells Ella to run along, so she does (literally). As she's running, she realizes that anyone could order her to kill herself, and that now she'll have to do it with a smile on her face.
  • Better or worse than becoming a squirrel? Discuss.
  • Ella finds her father, and he's pleased (and a tad surprised) at how polite and obedient she is.
  • As they head back to their home, dear old dad drops a bomb: he's been financially ruined. They'll have to sell everything. Including her. So, he's going to marry her off to anyone rich enough to save the family.
  • Thanks to Lucinda's new spell, Ella is delighted to hear this.
  • Her dad is totally surprised. It's no wonder she ran away from finishing school, he thinks, if this is what was done to her.
  • Once home, Mandy hugs Ella enthusiastically. Her new parrot is speaking Gnomic. Ella feels comfortable and loved.
  • Her father announces that he'll be away on business, but that they'll be entertaining the following evening. He'll have Elvish mushrooms sent for Mandy to cook for Ella and the dinner guest.
  • The dinner guest, it turns out, might be Ella's future husband. Ella expresses joy about this fact to Mandy, who freaks out on her behalf.
  • Mandy interrogates Ella and finds out that she'd met Lucinda, who'd added some component of happiness to her obedience spell.
  • Mandy tries to act less horrified about this for Ella's sake, and they talk alone over dinner after Sir Peter dismisses all the other servants.
  • The next day, the Elvish mushrooms arrive (they're called torlin kerru, which translates to justice or fairness mushrooms; they're often consumed at legal settlements to inspire feelings of like and love among those eating them).
  • Mandy cannot believe that Ella's father would try to influence her into wanting to marry someone. She stalks out, ordering Ella to keep an eye on the soup.
  • This is kind of a disaster, because the parrot keeps telling Ella to kiss him. She has to run around trying to kiss the bird while minding the soup.
  • Finally, Mandy comes home with some regular mushrooms to cook. But Ella's father is mad when he gets home and finds out what's been going on. He orders Mandy to cook the mushrooms, and tells Ella to stop acting like a cook's helper.