Ella Minnow Pea

Themes

Religion/customs - The people of Nollopton worship the sign, and they feel that these letters rule their society. 
“At precisely 12:00 tomorrow morning the letter “C” will cease to exist at all points on this isle.  You will eschew it’s use or receive penalties as per earlier Council proclamata.  We note that a “U” is gone as well.  Its twin, however, remains intact.”  Pg. 135  This quote is written in a letter from the High council. The high council is reminding and informing the people of the now “illegal” letter.  The council strongly supports their customs, and one included the worshiping of the sign.  They follow through with this custom, by no longer allowing a letter to be used when it falls off of the sign.

Education - The education of the society is decreasing because letters are being eliminated from their alphabet.  In addition, when a letter falls off the sign, books with that letter are burned, so the value of books is decreasing.  Children can not read as they wish, and neither can adults.  An example in the book is, Tassie’s mother, Mittie, is a teacher and she has to rearrange her lesson plan so she will not use illegal letter.  The following passage explains how education was decreased with the loss of letters, “She was teaching arithmetic and made mention of a sum of egg.  Twelve eggs to be exact.  And described them using a word no longer at our disposal.  A right and proper word in times gone by.  How DOES, IN and fair and logical way, the Council expects us- all of us- not to make such a simple and innocent slip every now and then!”  Page 33.  This is proof that the education has been limited.  Teachers must recreate their lesson plan, to suit the new rules.  This is a very hard job, and also limited the education.

Literal - The high council admires this sign, and cherishes it with great pride.  As a result of all their beliefs, the letters falling off was thought to be a sign to eliminate that letter.  Once many letters began to fell, the towns’ people spoke their voice on how this simply is ridiculous.  One character explained, “ …The tiles are falling for the simple reason that they can no longer hold themselves to the bandiford.”  Pg. 52 This quote is expressing the feeling of a towns’ person towards the new banished letters.  This particular character believes that the high council overlooked the situation, and is making a bigger deal than it should be.

Freedom of speech - The council is taking away the rights of he people.  They are no longer aloud to express their voice on the situation without being punished.  William Creevy spoke his voice and was punished for doing so.  He was kicked off the high council, and could no longer participate in decisions.  A quote supporting this idea is, “ Young Master Creevy was sent away today.  When the flogging had ended, he allegedly (I was not there.) raised his head and let spew forth a long repetitive illicit-letter-peppered tirade against the L.E.B. officers who had administered his punishment.” Page 25.  This quote shows that when one would speak out, and disagree with the government, they would receive a harsh punishment.  These new laws were taken very seriously, and many received serious punishment.

Totalitarianism - The High council feels that they are in control, and they do not allow the people to their rights.  The people’s freedom of speech is taken away, and if someone says something wrong they have a harsh punishment.  Many people accidental said an illegal letter and then were put in jail.  The council having complete control is seen through this passage, “…gave him papers that gave them authority to appropriate his property.  No reason was given other than: ‘It is the Council’s wish.’”  Pg. 121 This quote shows that with only the request of the Council, life’s can be ruined.  The council can do whatever they please whenever they please.  This will cause many problems within the community.

Corruption - The newly enforced rules is the downfall for many people.  Religion begins to fade, trust is lost, and hope is unrealistic.  People begin to realize they are stick on the island and nothing, including God, will help.  As explained in the quote, any faith at all has been lost.  “ Perhaps I am wrestling needlessly with a decision that has already been made; it would be impossible for me to move to the States…”  Pg. 63  This is showing how faith is lost, and it is realized that for the rest of life, the people will be stuck on the island.