From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Questions and Answers
by E. L. Konigsburg

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In From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, why does Claudia enjoy planning?

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One of Claudia's character traits is her ability to plan.  To a great extent, her need to plan is to compensate for a certain amount of emptiness that she perceives in her own life.  Her need to plan is a measure to demonstrate to her parents and others that she is capable of assuming greater responsibility and understanding the implications of it.  What planning gives Claudia is a voice and power, elements that she feels is missing from her parents when they perceive her.  At the same time, planning is the critical element that will help define her.  Claudia understands that if she does not plan properly and fail in her running away, her parents will continue to see her in what she perceives to be a devalued light.  It is for this reason that planning is so important to her.  It is also for this reason that she enjoys planning, as it serves to validate her own opinion of herself as being precociously mature.  Planning gives her this conception of self that is otherwise not apparent around her in the world.  It is for the reason of voice and power that she becomes an character who enjoys planning and sees the value in it.

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