What was Despereaux's goal in The Tale of Despereaux?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Despereaux's goal in The Tale of Despereaux is quite simple: to save the Princess Pea no matter the cost. After hearing of Roscuro's evil plan when traveling back up to the world of light in Mig's pocket, he falls asleep in the kitchen cupboard after running for his life from Cook and Mig. While he sleeps, Roscuro tricks Mig into using a knife to scare the Princess Pea into traveling down into the dungeon, and by the time he wakes up, the whole castle is in an uproar looking for her. The broken king has sent soldiers down to find his darling princess, but Despereaux knows all too well that there is only one creature on earth who can find his way through the twistings of the dungeon: a rat. And so, gathering all his strength and courage, he visits the threadmaster for a spool of red thread and traverses back into the dark of the dungeon. He knows the only way to find the princess is to trust the untrustable: a rat who would like nothing more than to devour him. Once he makes his way on the tail of the rat to his lovely princess, he must fight the evil Roscuro for her, which is an impossible feat for his small stature. Thankfully, Mig has a change of heart and even the Princess Pea helps him to convince Roscuro that it is not revenge his heart is longing for, but light. In the end, all the characters are able to experience happiness in the light of the banquet, which is, in the words of the final page of the book, "just so."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial