This is the final week of Novel Study stuff.

This is about themes.

A theme is an idea that is throughout the whole entire book. From the Copyright to the Credits.

A couple of themes in the Nation are loyalty, honesty, friendship, and belonging.

The two we’ll work on now are loyalty and belonging.


This is a theme. It has to be. If not, almost every book in the world will be toasters. Loyalty is huge. It makes sense, because it’s counterpart is disloyalty, and if that’s not in a lot of books, I don’t know what is. In the beginning of the story, Mau has to trust the strange girl on the ship, even though he thinks she’s really queer. Later they get to know each  other really well, and they develop a strong sense of loyalty.

This is tested again and again. When Mau does something suspicious, Daphne wonders why, and finds out. All because they are really good friends and are tied together through loyalty.

At the end of the book, when Daphne offers the murderers a drink, and they refuse to sing the “magical” beer song and die, Mau doesn’t question her actions, because he knows exactly how she feels, and understands what she did.

Terry Pratchett is trying to tell us something here. Be loyal. No matter what happens. Now if you believe that or not… that’s your problem


Daphne feels alone on the island. She doesn’t belong. Or something. Then she meets Mau. And she feels better.

And again when a whole bunch of weird people from different islands come to the Nation for safety, they don’t feel like they belong, either. Daphne knows how they feel, so she makes them feel better.

When Daphne’s father finds her and comes to take her home, it almost seems like she doesn’t belong there anymore. She had gotten used to island life, and was actually enjoying it.

There are many more examples of belonging in the Nation, but it would take too long to find them all right now. Same with loyalty.

Oh, and once again, Terry Pratchett is trying to tell us that it’s ok to feel like you don’t belong. But if you’re stuck somewhere for a long time, the people with you better make you feel better quick. Or you are a grump.


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