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Essay about MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin

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MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin

The Princess and the Goblin is a story about self-realisation and the expansion of limits. The princess, Irene, is able to come to certain conclusions about herself with the help of her grandmother, who lives in the attic upstairs in the palace. The grandmother guides Irene through her rite of passage into adulthood, and helps to bring the princess and Curdie together in the end. However, the reader never really knows whether the grandmother even exists, and it is this uncertainty that causes the reader to question whether she is a personification of a force within Irene that is driving her to achieve all that she does. There are many elements of fairy tales that exist within the grandmother's
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They have both left what is safe and familiar for a place they never knew existed. A sense of danger looms over the reader's head, as the situation Irene has got herself into is so similar to the one the sleeping beauty gets herself into. There are also hints of Little Red Riding Hood's visit to her grandmother's house. The grandmother in The Princess and the Goblin calls out in an "old and rather shaky voice" (MacDonald, p. 11) for Irene to enter her room, just as the wolf does when he lures Little Red Riding Hood into her grandmother's house. It is possible that the grandmother has bad witch qualities that she is trying to hide, just as the wolf tries to disguise his evil ways to appear good. However, when the princess opens the door to the grandmother spinning, she enters another world, and is presented with an opportunity to discover herself. The reader becomes aware of this opportunity for self-discovery when the grandmother informs the princess that her name is also Irene. At this moment the princess subconsciously becomes aware of all that she is capable of without the help of the nurse. The grandmother's pigeons are a symbol of transformation and provide a clue to Irene that the time is right for her to fly away from the safety and comfort of her nest.

As the grandmother makes Irene feel more and more secure in her new world, she moves farther away from Lootie and her
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