Monday, April 13, 2009

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Known at least by mention to most, Mark Twain weaves a brilliant story of learning what is right and wrong in the Prince and the Pauper. The prince with all his training becomes unable to navigate the real world while the street urchin is stymied by royal trappings when because of appearance they accidentally switch roles. The tale speaks of righting a wrong and becoming wise. Both the Prince and the street lad change in the story so that they understand the world better but have kindled love, justice and mercy more in their hearts. A ruler filled with wisdom must have the advantage of experiencing vast situations and enduring hardship. I attempted to read this aloud to my 6 year old but the language Twain uses defied his understanding. I think it would be better for an older audience, say 10-16. Teaching a child to see the other side of a situation is an invaluable lesson because they will often come across a person they fail to understand and taking the time to listen, learn and love that other person creates an environment where true compromise take place. A story with a lesson for both the old and the young.

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