The Princess and the Pauper by Kate Brian

January 21, 2008
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The main characters in this story are Carina, Julia, Ingrid, Markus, and Ribbit. Carina is the princess of Vineland, a country in Europe. She is very rebellious, extremely impolite and bratty, and doesn't appreciate her life at all. During the story, however, she learns about the bonds and rules of friendship, the importance of keeping secrets, and about being yourself. Julia is just a normal teenager in California with not so much of a normal life. She and her mother are facing eviction. Julia is very thrifty, intelligent, and a bit of an outcast, primarily because of her poverty. Ingrid is Carina's best friend. She is, like Carina, extremely rebellious. She is also very mischievous and willing to do anything to help her friends. During the story, she learns how to stand up for herself and others. Markus is the son of Vineland's prime minister. He polite, handsome, and caring, the ideal “prince charming.” In Carina's point of view, he is the most boring man alive. In Julia's opinion, however, he is her knight in shining armor. Now, Ribbit, who is a typical rockstar on drugs. He is self-centered, almost never sober, and has about twenty girlfriends.
Plot Summary:
This story follows young Carina, a princess from Vineland. She is on a trip in America with her best friend Ingrid, supposed to be going on a tour of Los Angeles and meeting all sorts of interesting and exotic people. Including meeting up with her alleged “boyfriend”, Markus, at a royal ball. Instead, she wants to meet up with her pen pal, a rockstar named Ribbit. Her only problem, however, is getting away from her bodyguards and officials who are expecting to meet her. That is when she meets Julia, a teenager living in California who wants nothing to do with the stuck-up princess. When they offer her ten-thousand dollars to pretend to be the princess, however, she has no choice but to go along. Then, with a drastic turn of events, Julia, while pretending to be Carina, is caught rendezvousing with Markus, and Carina ends up all the way in New Mexico with Ribbit's band. Then, while Carina struggles to get back to California, Ingrid tricks Julia into flying back to Vineland with her bodyguards to meet the parents. Nothing will ever be the same in Vineland or California ever again!
Main Conflicts:
The main conflicts are between Ingrid and Carina, Ingrid and Julia, and Carina and her mother. Ingrid and Carina have a conflict when Ingrid pays Julia half of the money they owe her to be Carina before she actually does the job. Ingrid believes this is good business, while Carina thinks that Ingrid is becoming Julia's new best friend. There is also a conflict between Ingrid and Julia. Julia believes that Ingrid secretly loves Markus, and Ingrid is mad at Julia for falling for the guy that is meant to be with Carina. There is one final conflict, and this is between Carina and her mother. Carina wants to live a spontaneous life full of danger and excitement, while her mother just wants her to inherit the thrown and live forever in Vineland.
Climax: The climax of the story is when Ingrid tricks Julia onto a plane headed for Vineland.
Resolution: The resolution is when everything is sorted out, Carina returns to her home country and works out her problems with her parents, Julia's mother gets a fabulous job making hats for Carina's family, and Julia and Markus finally get their chance to be together.
Theme/s: The main themes in this story are forbidden love, not appreciating what you have, poverty, and royalty.

Extension: Powers of Persuasion

There is no doubt in the world that this story is the greatest one every written. “The Princess and the Pauper”, written by Kate Brian, not only incorporates the obvious pains of having a certain life, but shows a need to get out and be free, an inspirational tale about two soul sisters switching places, and the everlasting hope of having a more exciting and spontaneous life. While the two main characters may seem like the protagonists, one more than the other, the actual protagonist in this story is portrayed as the bratty one. The one who is portrayed as the protagonist is truly the bratty one in this phenomenal book. It seems that, when you think about it, this book is full of hidden meanings, lies, and secrets.

In this story, Carina is a princess from Vineland. She doesn't appreciate her life at all, and doesn't pay any attention to her duties. This, of course, shows a wanting to have a different life, but it shows more. It tells of an innermost passion for change, a striving for a more unique and spontaneous life, and the everlasting hope of being someone else. She never understands why she was born into the life she was. She knows that she doesn't deserve to be cooped up in a boring palace all day, and believes that if she could just get out there and find a different path, she would take it immediately. This shows not only a juvenile wish, but a complete shirking of responsibility. She never wants to attend the fancy dinner parties her parents host in honor of her, and she stays in her room for hours at a time, doing nothing but emailing a rockstar in America. This shows extreme curiosity about the world around her, and a definite sign that she doesn't receive enough freedom in her life. Another aspect of the story that has a completely hidden meaning is when Carina's mother tells her that her father won't be able to come home for at least another two weeks. Although Carina shows no emotional pain about this, her actions scream them out loud and clear. She never calls, which shows a sort of separation. She feels that she doesn't know her father anymore, and calling him will make no difference. She never wants to hear anything about what he is up to, which shows a major partition between her and her father. It shows that Carina has no desire to hear about her father, because she only wants him to come home and talk to her like a father talks to his daughter, and that shows a confusion of feeling regarding her father. That is why, even though Carina can shirk her responsibilities and have no heart for anything else, she has some reason to feel the way she does, and part of it is because of her father's distance.

Kate Brian also writes about Julia Johnson, a normal teenager living in California. She and her mother live in a very rundown apartment in Little Italy, where the rent is barely being paid and their landlord sends them countless eviction notices. Julia hides these from her mother, which shows that she does not want her mother to worry. However, it also shows an extreme dishonesty and a lack of responsibility. This story portrays Julia as the protagonist, while in reality, there is so much that she hides from other people and herself, as well. At school, she is an outcast because of her poverty. She got to attend that school because of her intelligence, and was able to receive a full scholarship. This not only shows that she is a hard worker, but it shows that she is willing to do anything for an education, for holding up scholarship is an enormous pain. It shows that she suffers constantly, and that holding onto the lies she keeps from her mother only does damage to her well-being, and doesn't help anything at all. Also, when princess Carina first attends her school to make an important speech, she immediately thinks of the princess as a stuck up, spoiled, wants-nothing-to-do-with-them princess. This shows that she bases her opinions on first impressions. It shows more than this, though. It shows that she has no room in her heart to let anyone in, and doesn't give second chances easily. It shows that she is stubborn and opinionated, which make her much less of a protagonist and more of an antagonist. Then, when the princess confronts her and asks her a favor, Julia refuses because of her first impression of the “bratty” princess. Even when she is offered money, which could benefit her and her mother, she refuses because of her stubbornness and her cruel heart. Only when her mother finds out about the eviction notices does she even consider listening to what Carina has to say.

In conclusion, while this story may seem full of nothing but antagonists, for the most part, they have very reasonable explanations for their improper behavior. Carina is a princess and always ignores her responsibilities, but she has some reason to do so. Her father has been absent for most of her life, and this can give someone a huge emotional pain. Julia, on the other hand, has no reason to act the way she does. This is why this is such a phenomenal book. It truly makes you think about who the protagonist and antagonist really are. Although it may seem confusing, once it gets sorted out in your brain, it is a cinch to understand the true meaning behind this book.

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