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The prince and the Pauper


Remarks on The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper is an English language novel by American author Mark Twain. The book includes thirty four chapters. It was first published in 1881 in Canada before its 1882 publication in the United States. The book represents Twain's first attempt at historical fiction. Set in 1547, the novel tells the story of two young boys who are similar in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London; and Prince Edward, the son of King Henry VIII. The novel builds a fantastic story through the dramatic plots and the displacement of their position. The main characters: the pauper-Tom and the Prince Edward have a similar appearance but they are very different in personality and fate. Tom Canty-a needy boy living with his abusive family in London. He lived in a poky room like a “dump” with his father, mother, grandmother and sisters. Tom’s birth was unpopular because his family was so poor that couldn’t provide for him and the room was too small to live in so many people. Prince Edward was born in Palace at the same time, but on the contrary, his birth brought delight to the whole country. Everyone in the country celebrated for the prince. They believed he would bring good luck to them. The two children grow up in such a different environment. Tom is often attacked by his father but he has a wonderful faith about life. Tom often dream of becoming a prince, living in a Palace and eating delicious food everyday. He also likes reading and a game that he can act as prince. So Tom becomes gentler and gentler. Prince Edward is tired of the inflexible and boring life in the Palace, so he wants to be a pauper to experience some poor life. One day, Tom Canty and Prince Edward, the son of King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour meet in the Palace. And then they exchange their clothes for curiosity. At the same time, their never thought that a simple exchange of clothing sets them on a path they'd never dreamt. After they put on each other's clothes, Prince Edward is thrown out of the palace, while people think that Tom is the prince. So both Edward and Tom have to live in a world where they are treated different and which they do not understand. Tom lives the life of a prince. On the streets of London, Edward is saved by the nobleman Miles Hendon. Edward travels with Miles around England. There Edward sees and has to live with the poverty and cruel treatment in the life of the poor people. This experience lays the

foundation of being a good King for Edward. Then King Henry VIII dies. People prepare to make Tom the next King. At the crowning ceremony, Edward arrives and tells people that he is the real Prince. In the end, Tom and Edward can clear everything up. Edward becomes King of England. Tom Canty becomes "The King's Ward", a position in which he can live comfortably for the rest of his life. Miles Hendon is made an Earl. King Edward's rule is very good to the common and poor people, because he has lived that way for a while and knows how hard it is. But Edward dies when he is still very young. It’s an interesting and wonderful story. From this novel I learn a lot of things. For example, Tom live in a poor family,but he has dream and hope for life. We need to learn about this optimism. We need to believe that we can change our poor and unfortunate life. We can’t be beaten by fate. On the other hand, we also need to learn from Edward’s sincerity and kindness. When Edward meets Tom at first time, he treats him kindly. He doesn’t look down upon Tom because he is a pauper and wears the ragged clothes. No matter who we are,how rich we are or how beautiful do we look, we can not look down upon the other people. We shouldn’t judge a person by his surface. Everyone has his pride and thought, we are coequal and we must respect everyone then everyone will respect ourselves. The next is putting ourselves in other’s position. Tom and Edward dream of each other’s life at the beginning, but when they experience the “dreamt” life, they understand the pauper and the prince are not the same as they thought. Because Edward has been a pauper, he understands the pauper’s feeling clearly, and he knows how to do is better for those poor people. If he doesn’t become a pauper, he won’t have those precious gifts. He put himself in the poor’s position so he can do his best. Finally, there is the last point. Although the novel is about 16-century England, the difficult life what Mark Twain describes in the novel just like a mirror up to the life of the 1870s-1880s. And through the different treating after Tom and Edward change the position, we can see the racial discrimination. The novel-The Prince and the Pauper is good for children as well as adults to read. After reading it, I gain a lot. There is always kindness in our life and we need to be hopeful to life.


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