What is the plot of the novel The Moorchild?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In the book "The Moorchild," a young elf-like creature that is part human and part Folk is changed into a human child.  The villagers are mean and mistreat her. She is adopted by Yanno and Anwara who care for her and love her.  However, she is a strange child among other children. Moql is very much alone as she can not relate to the others. Anawa's mother believes she knows where the child is from because she has a very spiritual connection with nature and the forest spirits. The child begins to forget where she is from, which makes it even harder to understand why she does not fit in. The humans start blaming things on the different child.  The book is about being different and finding where one fits best in the world.

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Eloise McGraw's fantasy novel The Moorchild is a story based on the medieval folklore of the British Isles. The imaginary world of the novel  is most probably ancient Britain.

The structural contrast is between the wide open moor and the closed village. Saaski the changeling lives in the village of Torskall. Torskall is a safe haven for the villagers but a prison for Saaski as she must conform to the rules of the village. Consequently her heart is always in the moor because it means freedom from the constricted village. She spends most of her time playing about in the open moor. The topography of the moor with its mysterious bogs fascinates her.

The villagers, on the other hand are terrified of  the moors. They are scared of the will-o-the-wisps who lure the unsuspecting to their death in the bogs. All the villagers avoid moor except the wandering shepherd or any other stranger, traveling through. The moor represents a forbidden place of magic and superstition. It is a place where the tame child never ventures but where Saaski seeks freedom and the thrill of possible danger.

The theme of alienation and belonging is highlighted by the ambiguous status of Saaski. The intolerant village folk of Torskall reject her outrightly, and so also the the moor people who live below the Mound on the moor. Her identity is safe and secure only on the moor where  she truly belongs.  Here she can be free to play her pipes and befriend Tarn, the goatherd. Here, she magically discovers her true history and determines to right the Mound Folk's dreadful injustice.

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