Study Guide

The Tin Soldier in Inkheart

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The Tin Soldier

When Meggie reads the tin soldier out from a Hans Christian Andersen story, Mortola snatches him up immediately to bring him as proof of Meggie's reading abilities to Capricorn—and when she does, the poor little soldier looks at Mortola "with horror in his eyes" (42.40). Can't say we blame him. But eventually he's returned to Meggie, who feels badly for him: "Perhaps he was thinking of the paper ballerina he loved so much, or perhaps he wasn't thinking at all. He said not a single word" (45.22). No matter what's going on his his tin head, we're betting he'd like to go home.

Spoiler: In the original Andersen story, the tin soldier is thrown into a stove so he melts down to nothing; the paper ballerina he loves is burned up in the stove, too. So that's another reason Meggie feels badly for him. But Fenoglio writes a new ending for him, "a truly sentimental happy ending" (46.14), and they send him back into that story. Fingers crossed that all goes well from here on out for soldier boy.

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