The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle Analysis

Good Essays
Avi 's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is an adventure tale told by someone who really didn 't think her life would be much of an adventure at all. Miss Charlotte Doyle, a thirteen-year-old girl from the Barrington Better School for Girls, wanted nothing more than to become a proper young lady who wears fancy hats and has fabulous hair (FINE, who doesn 't want that?). Once she boards a ship to America, however, she finds out that a life on the Seahawk is far more thrilling than wearing a frilly dress. Donning boys ' clothing, Charlotte learns to climb the rigging and handle a knife. She also becomes involved in the thrilling machinations underway on the ship: Murder! Mutiny! Mayhem! These are definitely not the things Charlotte learned…show more content…
There 's more. Within this tale of adventure, are many complicated, and at times totally radical, ideas. Besides being a terrific read, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle takes on the Big Questions. (Note the capitalization.) Charlotte 's mutiny against Captain Jaggery is not just awesome (go Charlotte, go!), but it 's also a critique of the ideologies Jaggery comes to represent: capitalism, patriarchy, and organized religion, just to name a few. In the end, Charlotte (with a little help from the Seahawk) rids the ship of both Jaggery and the oppressive systems he stands for. She 's a complete subversive who challenges the Man and manages to take him down. (We warned you these were Big…show more content…
To paraphrase Jello Biafra, lead singer of the legendary punk band The Dead Kennedys, "She fought the law, and she won." That 's right, Charlotte Doyle was punk rock way before punk rock even existed.

But seriously, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is a book you should care about, not only for its punk rock attitude, but because it teaches us that being different actually has big-time possibilities. Being different can change things! As an outsider, Charlotte is in a unique position to challenge Captain Jaggery and his tyrannical order. Charlotte 's gender bending helps the rest of the crew on the boat see that they, too, can question their positions – as well as their leader 's.

As you read the book, you should ask yourself “Who are the people in your life who challenge the status quo?” Do you know someone that cuts against the grain? Maybe it 's your single mom who works three jobs, maybe it 's your kooky high school art teacher, or maybe it 's the girl who sits next to you in history class who 's always reading Howard Zinn. Whatever the case, these people 's differences really can make a difference. They help us see that things don 't always have to stay the same. They help us understand that things can
Get Access