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The Prince and the Pauper Reader’s Guide

By Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

READERS GUIDE

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. The Prince and the Pauper is set in sixteenth-century Tudor England during the reign of Henry VIII. This time was marked by a great social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor. How does Twain tackle this issue in the novel? What did you learn from this time period about democracy and monarchy?

2. Some might say Miles Hendon acts as the "hero" in this novel. What heroic qualities does he possess? Is he lacking any that prevent him from being a true hero?

3. What are some of the similarities between Tom’s and Edward’s lives? What makes the other’s life more appealing to Tom and Edward, respectively? How do they grow through their experiences?

4. In the novel, children believe that Edward is the king while the adults do not. Are there other examples where children have greater knowledge than adults? Consider Twain’s implications here.

5. The Prince and the Pauper has been compared in style to works of Dickens. What aspect of the novel stands out to you most?

 
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