Themes and Characters
A common criticism of Elidor is that, while the setting and plot are absorbing, the characters are shallow, stereotypical, and uninteresting. Although there is little depth of characterization, the children do have certain individual traits. In addition, Garner makes the adult characters somewhat different from the stock figures of fantasy.
Of the four Watson children, Roland, the youngest, is the most fully realized, and much of the story is seen through his eyes. While his siblings criticize him for being overwrought and too imaginative, he is the best-equipped for the encounters with Elidor. He has the mental power to escape the stone circle and open the mound in Elidor, and is able to release his sister and brothers from the evil spell. Back home, when the men of Elidor are about to break through to the children's world, Roland faces the truth, while the other children continue to avoid it. Imagination, sensitivity, and concentration are Roland's strengths, and he uses them, not always wisely and well, but certainly in good faith.
The other children are less fully drawn. But it is clear that Nicholas is the most practical one. He is reluctant to admit the full meaning of their experiences and refuses to recognize that Elidor will continue to reach into their lives so long as they protect the treasures. David, the scientist, looks for rational explanations for everything, including the weird occurrences in their own home and...
(The entire section is 1289 words.)
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