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Critical Analysis About the Emperor of Portugalia

Critical Analysis About the Emperor of Portugalia


As a student, I was to write a book report for me and my class about the novel Emperor of Portugalia, written by Selma Lagerlof in her native Swedish language. The novel is a unique blend of historical fiction and fantasy elements. Lagerlof’s vivid descriptions of the characters and settings paired with her lyrical prose create an immersive world that readers can truly get lost in. She expertly weaves together a captivating story with a moral message, as the brothers learn to set aside petty differences and unite against a common enemy. So just read it!

The book is called The Emperor of Portugallia and it was originally written by Selma Lagerlof in her native Swedish language. It was later translated into English. The book is based on the traditional country life of the Swedish people and the author was able to clearly capture this time in the history of Sweden. The story presented in the book is about a country man Jan together with his daughter Glory Goldie Sunnycastle whom he adores so much. They are shown to be very good and close friends from the daughter’s early childhood and up to the time she moves into the world and her father does not hear about her ever again. This causes Jan to start living in a world of fantasy where he imagines his daughter as the Queen of Portugallia, making him to become the Emporor of Portugallia. It is an interesting book as it moves between a fantastic beginning and tragic end but with a feeling of love flowing all through the text.

The author has been able to establish the characters well. In the beginning of the text we see Jan as a worried man who seems to be waiting for something that will change his future. Indeed, his life changes as we see him being a father of the beautiful girl Glory Goldie Sunnycastle whom he even goes ahead to name after the sun. With this the author introduces the second main character. This is impressive of the author as the reader is introduced to the main characters at the beginning and, thus, sets a good stage for identifying with the characters. As the text progresses, both main characters are given a personality from the events that follow. Glory Goldie Sunnycastle is shown to be highly intelligent as she grows and her father is described as an anxious person. This is another admirable element in the plot of the book. The author also shows us how the life of Jan slowly starts changing once Glory Goldie Sunnycastle leaves home in search of a job. This is how the happy beginning is turned into tragic, but without losing the element of the love the father had for his daughter.

The book The Emperor of Portugallia is a fictional story and the author presents the story in a chronological order without leaving the reader suspended. Using conversations between the characters, the author is able to capture the mind of the reader into believing the characters and whatever tribulations they are going through. In the story of the Empress, in order to bring out the fantasy world that Jan goes into after not hearing from his daughter for a long time, she uses the words of Aggripa to evoke the emotions that Jan had kept to himself for a long time and through his words the characters of the Emperor and Empress are born into the story. This is an impressive use of words to bring out imagery and paint the pictures of the event in the readers mind. The writer is also able to bring out symbolism in her work. An example is where the sun becomes the girl’s godmother, and later in life she is a true beauty and also so precious to her father.

The book is interesting to read despite the sadness in it. The characters are well described, as well as the events that happen in the lives of these characters. The environment that the characters live in is also well described and the author is seen to have empowered her female characters more than the males. This may be because of gender but she is able to bring out the theme of how blind love can make people to be.

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