Study Guide

The Goose Girl Man and the Natural World

By Shannon Hale

Man and the Natural World

In The Goose Girl, everything in nature speaks—from the wind in the trees, to the fire in the palace, to the dead horse over the goose's pen. It's clear that nature and animals have just as much to say as humans do in this book, and it makes us think about what one person can hear that another can't—like how Enna can hear the fire tell her things, but Selia only speaks to humans.

Nature is a big part of Ani's life, so it makes sense that it plays such a big part in the novel—which is pretty much the Ani show—especially when she's trying to figure out how she can use her connection with nature and animals to her advantage.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How does someone's personality relate to nature? Is there a reason Enna can hear fire, but Selia talks to people? What does this tell us about them?
  2. Why can Ani talk to animals and use the wind to help her? How come she isn't limited to one language like other people we see?
  3. How does Ani's changing relationship to nature and animals relate to her changing relationship with people? As one gets stronger, does the other necessarily get weaker? Can Ani have both?

Chew on This

Ani adjusting to the voices in the wild around her is ultimately representative of her acceptance of her own nature. These internal adaptations are far more important to her character than the specific animals or languages she learns to use.

While Ani gains much by learning to use the wild, she loses important aspects of her original persona, such as elevation and separation—things key to being an effective ruler.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...