Study Guide

The Goose Girl Identity

By Shannon Hale


In The Goose Girl, Ani has a pretty epic identity crisis, and she spends a big part of the book wondering who she is and what she wants to do with her life—just like the rest of us. The only difference is that her mom is breathing down her neck while she does it… and her mom happens to be the queen. And you thought your parents were strict.

Dissatisfied with the labels of princess and animal-speaker, Ani seeks an independence that is hard to come by for a royal. So though her journey takes her to a far away land and through a bunch of dangerous encounters (including one killer lady-in-waiting), ultimately it's really just about finding her true self.

Questions About Identity

  1. Ani's mom claims she needs to act more regal to be a princess. Do you agree? How can we understand Ani's actions as proving her mom right or wrong?
  2. Who does Ani decide she wants to be—someone like her mom, or the princess she is in the beginning of the book, or a combination of both? Do you think she makes the right choice?
  3. What key moments in the novel are about Ani figuring out who she really is? At what point does pretending to be something she's not harm Ani?

Chew on This

Even though Ani's mom is tough on her, she's right about Ani needing to grow up and act more maturely if she's going to rule a country.

Ani figures out that she doesn't have to be like her mom or other rulers she meets; she can just be herself and still be a great princess.

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