Study Guide

The Egypt Game Language and Communication

By Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Language and Communication

In The Egypt Game, the kids don't just create their own world when they find their own version of Egypt: they also make their own language and rules for communicating. When the game just involves April, Melanie, and Marshall, they've already come up with special names for things and guard their secrets carefully.

But once Elizabeth, Toby, and Ken join, the kids create their own hieroglyphics and are able to pass each other messages without worrying that someone will intercept them. That makes the Egypt Game gang the only ones who can understand this new, secret way of communicating. And obviously, language is at its best when it means not being understood by the people around you.

Questions About Language and Communication

  1. Why do the kids use hieroglyphics to write their notes instead of English?
  2. Is Marshall interested in the hieroglyphics? Why or why not?
  3. What happens when one of the hieroglyphic notes becomes misplaced at school?

Chew on This

Even though Marshall is down with playing the Egypt Game, there are certain aspects that he cannot fully understand, like the hieroglyphics. This is because he's so much younger than the others.

Although the kids use the hieroglyphics as a way to add fun and artistic richness to the Egypt Game, their new method of communication also adds to the sense that they're a part of a secret society—which is a lot cooler than communicating with other people in a boring, normal way.

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