The Door in the Wall Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Robin believes he cannot be a knight because of his physical limitations and his age; how do both of these things work in his favor when saving the castle from capture?

    Throughout his stay at the monastery, Robin took daily swimming practice which not only made him a stronger swimmer but also gave him shoulder strength; this proved invaluable in enabling him to cross the river as quickly as possible and without depleting his energy too much. His young age helped him because when he was discovered along the border by the enemy Welsh he was not suspected to be a spy or a child soldier but a physically-challenged shepherd boy and so was left alone and free to continue his plan to save the castle.

  2. 2

    The author brings the history in the novel to life not only with her vivid descriptions of the surroundings but by using the language of the time on communication between the characters. What are some of the phrases she idea that bring Medieval London to life and also connects it to modern times?

    Many of the characters have last names that deacribe either their appearance or what they do for a living; for example, John The Fletcher was a person who made arrows for a living whereas John Go-In-The-Wind was a messenger who would seem to be here one minute and gone the next. The early development of some of London's more famous street names is also evident. St Mary Le Bow church gave name to the famous Bow Bells and Bow Street whilst Friar's Gate became Blackfriars.

    The game Hoodman Blind also seems to have been an early form of Blind Man's Buff. Brother John would carry Robin pick-a-back which has become the modern-day "piggyback". By using the Olde English words and phrases De Angeli manages to portray both life as it was then and also how it has evolved into life and language that we use today.

  3. 3

    How did what he learned whilst living at the monastery prepare Robin for saving the castle from invaders?

    Robin learned a great many things whilst living at the monastery. One of the most important was patience. The monks taught him to be patient when whittling so that his work would be better in the end. They taught him to be patient in waiting for physical improvement which meant that he spent a longer time swimming, something that helped him traverse the country near the border as fast as possible. He also had to be patient waiting for Brother John to teach him to read which taught him patience in waiting for knowledge to come. He also learned how to take responsibility for things and not blame the people around him or the implements to hand, which enabled him to depend on himself and carry out his plan without allowing conditions around him to be an excuse for not carrying our the plan correctly.

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