Study Guide

The Goose Girl Friendship

By Shannon Hale


If there's one thing we can all agree on about The Goose Girl, it's that Selia is definitely a bad friend to Ani. Not only does she steal Ani's identity, clothes, and life, but she goes one giant step further and tries to kill her. Yep, we'd say that goes on the list of don'ts when it comes to friends.

But even though we see some pretty horrible friends in the novel, we also get some examples of great friends. For Ani's forest buddies, friendship means being loyal to one another and even making sacrifices, and Enna, Conrad, Razo, and the whole gang are willing to risk their lives for Ani to get hers back. Now that's real friendship.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Why does Ani think Selia is a good friend? What attributes make her someone you might want to hang around?
  2. How are Ani's forest friends different from her palace friends? Why is this important to her understanding of friendship?
  3. Is Ani always a good friend? Are there ways in which she is not a good friend to Selia? The forest workers?

Chew on This

Friends are necessary for survival. Without friends, Ani would have been killed on the road to Bayern or in the palace, so it's a good thing she's got some good buds in her corner.

Selia could never be Ani's friend since Ani was her boss and, as such, always in a position of power over her. Ani mistook Selia doing her job for friendship.

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