In the twenty-ninth chapter and epilogue of Ella Enchanted, Ella is faced with the most horrible of conundrums. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Ella Enchanted.
Chapter Twenty-Nine / Epilogue
- For what it’s worth, I think it’s amazing that without any hesitation at all, Mandy was willing to drop her entire life in order to protect Ella. Like… with no plan. Or goal. She just loves and cares for Ella that much. That’s incredible. And for a book that addresses love so realistically, I don’t think we should ignore that.
- BUT THEN THE PRINCE SHOWS UP TO ELLA’S HOUSE.
- IT’S HAPPENING
- IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING
- Oh, Ella, bless. She tries to hide behind someone to avoid the Prince seeing her. Gold star.
- It’ll always be so wonderful to me that this chapter follows Cinderella right up to a point, and that point – when Char recognizes Ella and asks her to marry him – is one that represents what this whole novel is about. The stepsisters try on the glass slippers. They don’t fit. It fits Ella. And then:
- “You needn’t be Ella if you don’t want to be,” he said softly.
- WOW HOLY GODS, WOW.
- And then, after Char unknowingly commands Ella to marry him, HATTIE COMMANDS HER NOT TO. Thus, the WORST WORST MOST HORRIFYING THING UNFOLDS BEFORE OUR EYES. Ella is stuck between two terrible decisions: She can marry Char and be happy for… what? A day? A week? A month? At some point, her secret will get out. (No doubt that will be because of Hattie, because Hattie is a terrible person.) And then someone will exploit Ella, and she’ll lose Char and Kyrria and everything.
- She could not marry him and be miserable forever, but know that Char and the kingdom would be safe.
- Except then Char says, “Marry me, Ella. Say you’ll marry me.” It’s a command. Even in this horrible, no-good-answer situation, Ella doesn’t have a choice. She has to obey Char’s command! Which she desperately wants because she loves this man and which she desperately doesn’t want BECAUSE SHE LOVES THIS MAN.
- I think it is so perfect and appropriate that the battle that Ella wages here is entirely unspoken. It’s like a metaphysical war within her mind as she fights against the urge to obey while thinking about how often she’s never been able to refuse. Ella has lived a life without the word no meaning anything other than a distant idea. And as she thinks about what her obedience means to her and means to the rest of the world, she knows that her decision – and by gods, it’ll be a decision – will be the most important one she ever makes. It’ll affect the entire kingdom and everyone who lives in it.
- So it’s downright incredible to me that the answer to Ella’s curse, to the problem she faces in this chapter, is her refusing to do something. Ella broke the curse by FINDING THE WILLPOWER TO REVOKE HER CONSENT. OH MY GOD. THIS IS A FAIRY TALE THAT’S SOLVED BY THE PRINCESS SAYING NO. OH, THIS IS SO AMAZING.
- SHE LITERALLY SCREAMS “I shan’t marry the prince” AS A VICTORY CRY
- THIS IS WONDERFUL.
- “You rescued yourself when you rescued the prince.”
- HELLO, GENDER REVERSAL. And the power of free will. AND THE VALUE OF CONSENT.
- It plays so perfectly into Ella’s sense of identity. By being able to choose for herself, Ella could finally become herself.
- AND THEN SHE KNEELS TO PROPOSE TO CHAR!!!!!!
- TOO MUCH FOREVER.
- The epilogue properly wraps up all the loose ends in the plot, and it’s just so happy. Unironically happy! And none of it can be taken away from me! I love that Ella’s stepfamily wasn’t invited to the wedding because they don’t deserve joy for the rest of their lives.
- ZHATAPH. ZHULPH. OH MY GOD.
- UAAXEE CAME TO THE WEDDING TOO.
- But Lucinda was my favorite part. She arrived to give a gift that was actually useful and thoughtful. Oh my god, SHE LEARNED TO RIGHT HER WRONGS.
- Olive and Hattie? Not so much. They were kind of destined to always be awful; the same goes for Ella’s father, who never really grows or evolves as a person.
- But it’s the end of this book that really highlights why it’s so important:
- “I loved having the power to say yes or no, and refusing anything was a special pleasure.”
- That is something she never had. And Char doesn’t hold her back. He’s amused by her contrariness. TRUE LOVE.
I’m still blaming this exhausting experience on all of you, but WOW. What a fantastic book, y’all!!! If you hadn’t seen the announcement, I’ll be starting Ellen Ruskin’s The Westing Game tomorrow. You should follow along! That’s not an order, for the record. NO ORDERS ALLOWED.
Mark Links Stuff
– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the MarkDoesStuff.com. All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often.
– I will be at quite a few conventions and will be hosting numerous events throughout the US, Canada, and Europe in 2014. Please check my Tour Dates/Appearances page often to see if I’m coming to your city!