What lessons do Edward and Tom learn in the "Prince and the Pauper" by Mark Twain?

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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In the “Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain, the boys learn universal life lessons. Prince Edward VI, Eddie, rescues a pauper child named Tom Canty. The two boys trade places in life when the Prince decides that he wants a taste of freedom. What the Prince receives is a lesson on how his father’s subjects live when they are poor. He learns how harsh the laws of the kingdom can be and how it is to live in poverty with an abusive father.

On the other hand, Tom Canty learns how to live like a prince. At first, he does not like his new situation since he is ignorant to the lifestyle, but he later changes his mind. He learns that in time he would be able to influence lives by modifying laws.

Both boys learn to respect themselves and to show compassion for others from different classes. In addition, they find to value their own situation. One might say the moral is that “the grass is not always green on the other side of the fence” or “life is what you perceive it to be.” The most important lesson is that social injustice exists and it can be changed by working in a unified matter to procure change.

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