Expert Answers
parrottryan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Frankweiler, the narrator of the novel, and Claudia, the main character, don't seem to have a lot in common. Claudia is a kid, while Mrs. Frankweiler is an old woman. They're strangers until the day Mrs. Frankweiler takes Claudia and her brother to her house.

But Mrs. Frankweiler is able to relate to Claudia because she and Claudia do have some things in common. For example, in chapter nine, Claudia asked Mrs. Frankweiler a question about the statute she donated to the museum. Mrs. Frankweiler's answer is, "That's my secret."

Then, when Mrs. Frankweiler asks where Claudia and her brother have been all week, Claudia says that's their secret. Clearly, both of these characters are strong-willed and not quick to trust strangers. Here is Mrs. Frankweiler's response:

"Good for you!" I cheered. Now I was certain that I liked these two children.

Later, Mrs. Frankweiler says something else that gives us a clue as to why she relates so well to Claudia:

Nevertheless, Claudia was tip-toeing into the grown-up world. And I decided to give her a little shove.

This shows that Claudia is having a universal experience that, as an old woman, surely Mrs. Frankweiler has also experienced in her life: becoming a grown-up. That's another thing they share.

Click here to learn more about From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question