The elements of comparison that immediately come into focus when there is mention of the book ‘princess and the goblin’ and ‘Artemis fowl’ range widely. The variance of themes span from the essentials that describe a society such as food, clothing, money and the fundamentals that describe a place such as its geographical landscape or terrain.
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The landscape at the heart of the story in the book ‘princess and the goblin’ is a mountainous terrain that has very many subterranean hollows. Winding caves and caverns characterize the landscape in this book. Some of the caverns have water coming out of them, while some shine when light gets inside these structures.
In this book, two characters of very distinct backgrounds and with very different lifestyles get to interact, and end up being friends. The two come from the two different social groups that define the living standards of the region. Irene, the princess, born of the king and therefore enjoys every ounce of leisure life could offer. She has spent her life enjoying the comfort of the palace built by his father on one of the mountains.
The palace is beautiful and it is what the princess has grown up to believe is the whole world, until her curiosity leads her out of the palace into the outside world beneath. There are seemingly a different type people beneath the palace, strange people who it seems have different lives, and are of a different race, these are the goblins.
Legends attribute their existence to the fact that they all lived together in the same kingdom, until the king levied upon them higher taxes, tried to impose more severity, and handled them with stricter rules. As a result, these people escaped from the kingdom, but instead of going far away from the kingdom, they sought refuge in the underground caves and caverns from where they came out only at night (Macdonald, 1990).
The tale has it that these people hardly walk in groups, they come out only in the dark and never show up to large groups of people. This tale goes on to say that they operate in large groups of people in the areas of the mountain that are least visited, deeper into the mountain and that they even gathered in the open air.
As a result of them hiding away from the sun, dwelling in the cold and dark dungeon that was the mountain, their bodies had changed greatly both in form and texture through the course of time. They looked abnormally strange to the extent that no literary genius could put to pen the matching description of their appearance.
The goblins, in as much as they grew more disheveled in face and form, they grew smarter and brighter in the head. They had advanced intellectually to the point that they could do things that were unheard of in the world of mortals, yet all this creativity they dedicated to making the life of the people living on top of the mountain a living hell (Macdonald, 1990).
This community was very cruel to the people living on the mountain (suns), but they treated others of their type with affection and love. Their wits saw them establish a government run by a chief. The main business of this government besides running their own personal affairs was devising trouble for their neighbors on the mountain (Macdonald, 1990).
They held onto the grudge they bore against the suns people with a passion, they professed it with a near religious zeal; their perception of the suns was negative. They viewed them as the people who occupied their former abodes, and more so as the descendants of the king who caused their expulsion from the mountain. For this reason, the princess had never seen the sky at night the whole of her life.
Also at the heart of this kingdom is a young girl called Irene, she happens to be the king’s daughter; the princess. On one, boring, rainy day she decides to take a stroll through their old huge kingdom house. Due to the complexity of the structure of the house, she gets lost in the rooms and wanders her way into her great grandmother’s secret room.
Her grandmother been living beneath their house for ages and therefore knows a lot about the kingdom, yet the occupants of the kingdom didn’t know she was there. She is stunningly beautiful for a grandmother and Irene soon bonds with her. Upon returning to the castle, she tells her nanny Lootie about her encounter with her grandmother, an assertion to which Lootie does not believe and a quarrel ensues.
On the first sunny day, they set out for a walk and stay out late. This is their first encounter with the scary goblins, but they are saved by a young boy called Curdie, who sings’ rhythms which the Goblins find unbearable and they leave the two alone. Curdie has saved their lives and Irene promises him a kiss but Lootie interrupts.
This marks the beginning of a relationship that would go along way affecting the lives of the people around them, at one point even the fate of the kingdom. This happened when they boy eavesdropped on some goblins and heard them talking and planning an attack on the suns kingdom. He also got to know that their heads were hard but the lower parts of their bodies were weak (Macdonald, 1990).
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Artemis Fowl is a book based on the story of a young boy living with his mother. The father, who happens to be a crime lord, has deserted the family and they are the only members. This boy, at only twelve ears was intelligent, a genius for that matter and had the determination, zeal and desire to be rich. In his quest to attain wealth, he conducts an extensive research on fairies and discovers their existence.
He hatches out a plan to kidnap a fairy, this involves trailing them and learning their ways. Artemis and his friend, Butler track down a rogue fairy pretending to be a healer in Vietnam, they intend to get from her the ‘book of the people’, a holy book for fairies that is written in gnomish. At the same time, a police captain Holly short happens to be going after another troll which has escaped from the fairy city deep underground from the earth’s surface. (Colfer, 2001)
Captain Holy is assisted by her friends and they debilitate the troll, this exercise consumes all of her magical ability, forcing her to carry out a sacrament that would help bring back her magic. Using his wits, Artemis translates the book using a computer, and while at it he learns the essentials of the ritual. From the details in the book, they locate over 100 places where the ritual could be conducted.
Four months later they find Holly on the spot conducting the ritual, they tranquilize him with a hypodermic syringe. The Fairy council sends a group of fairies to examine Fowl Manor. The members are equipped with a special ability that allows them to travel faster than the human eye can follow, this was called shielding ability, but Artemis expects this and installs a camera that could resonate with their speed by freezing the image.
Butler debilitated the threat while Root cordoned Fowl Manor by initiating a time stop and entered discussions (Colfer, 2001). The amount demanded to release Fowl manor was 24 carats of gold. Artemis, armed with the knowledge he gained from decoding the book, took the chance to disclose his ability to undo the time stop.
Following Artemis guidance, they break into the Manor. He digs underground to get to the house and finds a safe where a copy of the book was stored. This gives a hint to where Artemis got his knowledge about fairies. In the meantime, Holly digs a space through the concrete wall of her cell, gets an acorn that had been smuggled inside. She takes it and completes the ritual, this enables him to regain his magic and he sets off to the main house.
The fairies honor their end of the bargain and give Artemis the ransom they had initially agreed upon. They give him the gold, but in the face of all that and coupled with all the riches bestowed upon him, he cannot cure his mother’s condition. He requests holly to grant him a wish; he wants her to cure his mother’s insanity, which had been caused by the loss her husband’s disappearance (Colfer, 2001). As result she is bed ridden.
In return Holly offers to grant the wish and cure her mother’s insanity but at a price, he demands to be given half the gold Artemis had. The fairies had other intentions, they intended to kill Artemis by infecting him with a biological bomb and get the gold, but this flops when Artemis drugs himself and his comrades with sleeping pills. The sleeping pills enable him to escape the time-stop, when he wakes up he finds his mother’s health in top condition, having recovered from her insanity.
In both stories, there is a common theme that comes to light. A theme that has been a factor in both instances, it has also been the driving force behind most of the events in these books. This is money. Because of money the goblins were expelled from the kingdom that they rightfully belonged, one that was rightfully there’s.
The king used it to expel them from the kingdom by raising the tax rates imposed on them, purposefully in order to get rid of them. Money has caused there to be division and classification according to how much one had, them that lacked had to escape the kingdom, and moved to inhabit the subterranean dungeons. As a result of the limited exposure to the sun and other environmental factors, they had grown scarily grotesque.
This had caused all the difference in the lives of these people, hence the contrasting lifestyles. The people who had money lived and enjoyed their lives, though they were not at peace wherever they were, its like they lived in total seclusion, in that some of them had never seen the sky, let alone know. They were confined in their freedom, and did not even know the beauty and glory that lay beyond the confines of their kingdom.
In Artemis’s case, the quest for money and wealth almost caused him his life were it not for his intelligence and ability to see ahead and think faster than his adversaries. The biological bomb they had sent him kills all forms of organic life, and his life, however bright was no exemption. After outwitting them all and having amassed all that wealth that was to the tune of twenty four gold carats, he discovers he still has needs that the money can not buy.
The money cannot buy him happiness; it cannot repair the broken relationships, it can neither heal illnesses nor better them, and certainly too much of it does feel uncomfortable.
It surprises us at the end when he gives out half the amount of gold he had worked so hard to attain, but what is all that when the person who is closest to you, your mother, is still sick? It surpasses logic. He did it out of the love, it is what matters most and that is what counts. He was happy eventually when the mother recovered, and he still had half the gold.
In the case of the kingdom, this people harbored anger and scorn towards each other. The goblins were so cruel to the suns to the point the established an own government whose sole purpose was to create disturbance and mayhem to the suns people. Money had caused this problem, the goblins wanted to attack the sun people, and submerge their kingdom as a result of the hate they had for the suns (MacDonald.1992).
This is salvaged after a boy overhears their conversations and alerts the suns . The get ready to protect the kingdom so by the time the goblins attack, they defend. These two, Irene and Curdie, save the kingdom not for the money but because of the love and the indifference of heart they saw among the people of the two communities.
In both cases, money has been of utmost disservice to the peace that has existed. Whenever the characters considered money as a factor, there was division and war. Money has proved its ability to buy almost anything that has economic value, but it has failed to buy virtues upon which good life is based upon, such as love, peace and harmony.
It happens that people who have all the money don’t have it all when it comes to these virtues; instead money cultivates greed, envy, war and instability in the case of kingdoms and power centers. Money could not buy the suns people the peace they so yearned for, neither could it heal Artemis mother of her condition.
He had to make a wish to the Fairy, it is only because the fairy had been frustrated by Artemis that he decided to punish him by charging him half the gold he had. Artemis needed joy and happiness, and he could stop at nothing to get it, his only joy was his mother’s well-being, and he reaped the fruits when he sacrificed half his wealth. His mother was well, the other kingdom was rescued after the money factor was put aside and they all lived happily ever after.
Colfer, Eion. (2001). Artemis Fowl: Artemis Fowl series. NY. New York. Vicking press.
MacDonald, George (1990). The princess and the goblin. Paperback. Trafalgar Square Publishing.