Overall, I really enjoyed The Princess Bride. I think it is very well written and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good book.
I have also mostly enjoyed my experience blogging about this book. It is a lot of work, but I enjoy getting to share my thoughts and ideas in a less formal way than an essay. I had a lot of fun getting to customize my blog and add different features. However, I wish it would be easier to find photos to put on my blog. I am not allowed to use copyrighted photos, so when I do find a picture I like I often can't use this. For me, this was probably this most stressful part of blogging.
Vizzini was a very arrogant person when it came to his intelligence. When Westley challenges him to a "battle of wits" he is entirely confident that he wil win. He taunts Westley and tries to convince him that no one could be smarter than himself. Before this point, Westley has defeated Inigo and Fezzik, but has not killed them. However, he kills Vizzini. The reader knows that Westley is very smart, and probably could have figured out a way to defeat Vizzini without killing him. One could argue that he killed Vizzini because he is the leader, but at this point Westley doesn't really know that. He only knows that Vizzini, Fezzik, and Inigo are on the same team. This leads me to believe that Westley killed Vizzini because of his merciless and arrogant personality. The other two had not wanted to kill Westley, and had been fairly polite before they battled him. Vizzini, however, wanted to kill both Westley and Buttercup, and was very arrogant about his ability to do so. It is likely that this angered Westley, so he killed Vizzini instead of simply defeating him. Overall, Vizzini did not behave appropriately, and his poor behavior ultimately led to his death.
After his father is murdered in front of him, and Inigo escapes with scars on his face, he decides to train intensely for ten years in order to get revenge on his father's murderer. He spends these ten years travelling, training with different teachers, squeezing rocks, and conditioning his body. He does this all so that he can become the best fencer in the world and be able to defeat the six-fingered man in a duel. When he finally gets to duel the Count, he is thrown off guard when Count Rugen stabs him with a dagger. Inigo leans against the wall in defeat, but eventually musters up the determination to keep fighting. Ultimately, it was his love for his father and his desire for revenge that allowed him to keep fighting and eventually win the battle, but his many years of mental and physical training were also key factors. He describes his lessons in controlling the mind, and how those lessons helped him to defeat Count Rugen. It might not have been necessary for him to train for such a long time, but his teachers did teach him useful things which he used in his duel with Count Rugen. Overall, Inigo's training was definitely helpful in the end, but the intensity of his training might not have been entirely necessary. His training was important, but it was not the only factor in his defeat of Count Rugen.
Buttercup has a very difficult decision to make when she gets out of the fire swamp. She can either die with her true love or surrender to her husband-to-be. Humperdinck says that if they surrender he will allow Westley to be free, that he will not hurt him. When they exit the fire swamp, Buttercup must negotiate with Humperdinck to ensure that he will not hurt Westley. Wanting to keep her love safe, Buttercup surrenders. I probably would have made the same decision in Buttercup's situation. When she is making this decision, she doesn't know that Humperdinck will go against his word and torture Westley. She believes that as long as he is alive, Westley will come for her. Based on this idea, she thinks that surrendering is the right decision because it means that she will get to be with her true love in the end. For these reasons I think that I would have made the same decision.
Goldman develops this story to be mainly about true love and its power to bring people together. If Buttercup had never known Westley before, this theme would not be as prevalent. It would also take longer for Goldman to develop Buttercup and Westley's relationship. When Westley leaves and Buttercup believes that he dies, she is destroyed. This part of the story is very important in developing Buttercup's side of the relationship. If this had never happened, she would not feel these strong emotions when she meets him after being saved from her kidnappers.
Goldman uses many similes and metaphors to describe Prince Humperdinck. Goldman's first in-depth description of Humperdinck is on pages seventy-three and seventy-four. On these pages, he uses similes such as "...shaped like a barrel" and "walked like a crab" to describe Prince Humperdinck's figure. Goldman also paints a picture for us of Humperdinck's passion: hunting. Goldman tells us how Humperdinck "made it a practice to never let a day go by without killing something." In the same paragraph, he also uses adjectives such as "dedicated," "determined," and "relentless" to describe Humperdinck's behavior when it came to hunting.
Although these characters seems completely different at first glance, they do have some similarities. They both work for the same man, Vizzini, and have incredibly strong ability. For Inigo, this is his ability to fence. For Fezzik, this is his ability to fight. Both of their talents are used to battle other people, whether for good or for evil. Although both of these characters must use their talents for evil because of Vizzini, they both desire more to use their talents for good. Inigo and Fezzik have many similarities, but their personalities are very different. Inigo is a leader to Fezzik, as Fezzik usually cannot think for himself and must be told what to do. Also, Inigo is a very determined person when it is for a good cause. On the other hand, Fezzik does what he needs to in order to get by. Also, Inigo was taught to be the great fencer that he is, but Fezzik's strong ability to fight is mostly natural talent.
I have not yet finished The Princess Bride but I have already begun to recognize some themes. Even in the first three hundred pages, the reader can begin to notice some themes which are quite common in romance stories. Considering that The Princess Bride is a classic romantic tale, the reader realizes quite early on the importance of love in the story. Goldman specifies these themes later on in the story through the plot. These specific themes include that true love will always find a way and that love can make you do crazy things. Although these themes are some of the most prominent throughout the novel, Goldman also brings back ideas about the driving force of the need for revenge. He does this through Inigo, whose desire for revenge on Count Rugen drives him to train intensely for many years and to take a job as a criminal. Goldman is trying to convey his opinions on the impact our emotions have on our decisions. He also wants to show how determination is important to your success in whatever you do. Both Inigo and Westley are very driven characters, and I feel that their successes come across as Goldman’s desired message about determinations.
I have not read any other books by William Goldman, so I do not know if the ideas he presents in The Princess Bride are relevant throughout all of his stories. The themes that are present in this story are quite common in adventure novels or romance stories. If Goldman’s other stories are part of these genres, it is quite possible that they have some of the same themes or motifs.
The characters in this book make many radical decisions, or decisions which will have a great impact on their life. As a person who dislikes making important decisions, the choices that the characters make forced me to think about making choices in my own life. Almost all of the choices that the characters make are based on their strongest instincts. I feel this is a very important part of decision making.
Overall, I have greatly enjoyed this book so far. I have really enjoyed the action-packed plot and slight comedic tone of the author. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a thrilling tale.
After reading almost three hundred pages of the novel, I am able to understand the way the author has formatted it. The format is for the most part a continuous story. Occasionally there are flashbacks, or dreams which are made to seem like they are real. However, for the most part the story moves forward chronologically. This simple format makes the story much easier for the reader understand, which allows the reader to focus on the details of the story. The time stays in the past tense for the entire story which also adds to its ease of comprehension.
The story is in third person omniscient. Goldman chooses to tell this story from this point of view so that he can focus on different characters as necessary. For instance, he provides detailed flashbacks to Inigo’s and Fezzik’s childhoods. There are also sections in the book which are focused entirely on Westley alone. Switching the character in focus is much easier for the author to do in the third person. If the story were in first person, the backgrounds that these characters have would have to be much less detailed. Any knowledge we gain of their past would be through their conversations with Buttercup.
The Princess Bride is probably best described as a medieval adventure tale. This means that the reader is more infatuated with the character’s actions than the characters themselves. Because the characters come from such an old time period, and do such insane things, it can be difficult to relate to them. However, even if you can’t relate to the characters, the things they do are so interesting that the book itself is still enjoyable.
So far, the characters in the book have very distinct personalities; some of whom I like and some of whom I don’t. My favorite character so far is Buttercup. She is strong-willed and independent which makes her an excellent main character. Although Buttercup is my favorite, I like most of the other characters as well. Inigo is a determined individual who tries as hard as he can to get justice for his father’s killer. Fezzik is physically intimidating, but mentally is a timid person. He doesn’t like fighting, but he knows that he has to fight in order to make a living. So far, I am indifferent towards the man in black. He hasn’t really been characterized much. At this point, he has not been in the story for as long as the other characters, so I am trying to remain neutral in my views of him until I have enough information to form an opinion. At this point in the story, his greatest accomplishments are climbing the “Cliffs of Insanity” and defeating Inigo in a duel. He doesn’t kill Inigo, but instead knocks him out with the butt of his sword. His accomplishments show us he is very talented, but we don’t really know if he will use that talent for good or for evil. He doesn’t kill Inigo even though he had the chance, which causes me to lean more toward the idea that he is a good person.
The only character that I do not like is Vizzini. He seems arrogant and selfish. When the man in black begins following him, he claims that that would be “Inconceivable!” He believes that his team is the very best, and that no one can possibly defeat them. Also, he is trying to kill Buttercup. Considering that Buttercup is my favorite character, it seems reasonable that I wouldn’t like the character who is trying to kill her. He is the leader of his team, but doesn’t really trust them to do much. He thinks that out of everyone on his team he is the best and therefore everyone must do as he says.
So far in the story, the characters have had to make some important decisions about the other characters. Although the decision is not made in the book, the reader knows that Vizzini is choosing to kill Buttercup for someone else. This shows the reader that he doesn’t have very strong morals and that he is willing to do anything to show how smart he is. Inigo must decide whether or not he will kill the man in black. His orders are to kill, but his morals tell him not to. He treats the duel as just another sword fight, until he realizes that the man in black is an adequate opponent. When he realizes this, he does everything he can to win the duel, but it still seems like a friendly duel, not a fight with intent to kill. I don’t agree with Vizzini’s decision to kill Buttercup because it is common knowledge that murder is bad. As for Inigo’s decision, I think there probably was a better way he could have dealt with the situation, but the sort of ended up working in his favor because he didn’t have to kill anyone.
The setting of the story is very important. Perhaps the most significant setting so far is entitled “The Cliffs of Insanity.” These cliffs are described to be 1,000 feet high, and it is said that is nearly impossible to climb them. It is on these cliffs where the reader first sees the man in black’s talent. When he finally reaches the top of the cliffs, the man in black is tested again by his surroundings. When he duels against Inigo, he must figure out how to use the surrounding terrain to his advantage. However, Inigo is trying to do the same things, so both characters must try to outsmart the other in terms of the way they use their terrain.
The time period of this story is also a very crucial part of the plot. Nowadays, there aren’t very many princesses, nor are there very many duels. Princess Buttercup’s struggles throughout the novel are often due to the fact that she is a princess. Inigo is in a similar situation. His father was famous for crafting swords, a profession which is not really common in today’s world. After his father is killed, Inigo pledges to devote his life to fencing. He says he will one day find the man who killed his father, and kill him. Neither of these situations would really make sense in the context of today’s world, so the time period of the story must play an important role in its events.
The author adds in some of his own commentary throughout the story which allows us to see some of his own perspective. He definitely views the story more lightheartedly than the characters do. Of course, since he is not the one faced with the possibility of death this seems quite logical. Buttercup is created as a very emotional person. The loss of the love of her life affected her greatly; she didn’t eat or sleep for days. If this story was being told in first person, it might be more emotionally distressing for the reader. However, the story is told through the third person which allows the reader to see the difference between how seriously the author takes these events as compared to the character.