The Whipping Boy Themes

The Whipping Boy Themes

Victory For The Underdog

Jemmy is definitely the underdog in this story. He has all of the disadvantages; constantly punished for someone else's bad behavior, and absolutely powerless to do anything about it, he finds himself suddenly thrust into the role of leader when Prince Brat decides to run away, and he becomes the hero. He single-handedly devises a plan that would enable the Prince to return safely to the palace and then adapts his plan when the Prince is uncooperative. On the face of it you would not expect the poor servant to emerge as the victor rather than the advantaged prince but he does nonetheless and this theme recurs throughout the book.

You Can Be Poor But Still Be Rich

Jemmy has absolutely nothing himself and is reliant on his job as whipping boy for everything. By contrast the Prince has untold riches and servants attending to his every need but it is still the Prince who is envious of Jemmy, not the other way around. Throughout the book what Jemmy has is what the Prince does not; friends who like him, people to play with and the ability to have fun out in the real world that the Prince has never had. The Prince is rich beyond imagination but he envies Jemmy's riches because they are what he craves.

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