Study Guide

The Goose Girl Power

By Shannon Hale


There's no question about it: The Goose Girl is all about power. Where does power come from? And what do people do with it? The biggest struggle in the book is the conflict over royal power in Bayern and Kildenree, but power is also portrayed through social class, and even the supernatural.

(Quick, who would win in a fight: Enna or Selia? Talone or Finn? Ani or her mom?)

But here's the bottom line: In The Goose Girl, power isn't anything close to absolute. Power is continually shifting and changing, and even when you've got it, there's always someone else who's ready to snatch it from you. Remember, even the all-powerful queen (Ani's mom) worries about what will happen to her country if Bayern attacks.

Questions About Power

  1. Who has the power in the novel? Does this change at different points in the story? Why?
  2. Why does Selia overtake Ani on the road to Bayern? How does Selia make sure she keeps her power?
  3. Is it power Selia is after, or something else from the royal lifestyle? Is Ani interested in the power that comes with being royalty?
  4. Why does the queen worry about losing her power? Is it fair to use Ani to fight her battle with Bayern?

Chew on This

Selia is the most powerful character in the book because she creates power for herself, and then does whatever it takes to keep it.

Power may come and go, but the really powerful characters are the ones who know how to use their own skills to get what they want. Ani's might be talking to animals, whereas her mom has a gift with people-speaking, but ultimately, both are very powerful in their own rights.

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