Study Guide

The Color of Magic Society and Class

By Terry Pratchett

Society and Class

While exploring the Discworld in The Color of Magic, we don't just tour fantastical landmarks; we also get to explore the societies and the people populating them. At first glance, these societies might seem like they have nothing in common with our own—what with the magic and barbarian adventurers striding down the street. But look closer, and you'll see that the fantasy elements of these societies are only the outer layer. At their core, these societies speak to those in our own world, discussing issues like economics, politics, and gender roles, or what those in the business call fantasy counterpart culture.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. Make a list of the qualities of Ankh-Morporkian society. Which one of these qualities do you think directly speaks to our Roundworld societies and why?
  2. Same question as above, but let's do Wyrmberg's society instead.
  3. Do you think the novel is trying to say something by having its most education-centered country, Krull, a country of slave owners? Yes or no? And do please explain why.
  4. Why do you think the second story, "The Sender of Eight," lacks as detailed an analysis of society as the other stories? Does this lack of society say something about society?

Chew on This

Every society in the novel seems to be in some state of decay.

Twoflower's arrival at Ankh-Morpork marks the first real encounter between the Empire and the Nameless Continent. It also marks the Disc's first step toward its unique version of globalization.