The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some... Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What are the ways in which Despereaux is considered to be a disappointment or different, and by whom?

Despereaux is considered to be a disappointment by his mother beginning with his birth and her naming him Despereaux. She refers to him as a disappointment, and decides she will never have another. His siblings listen as his Aunt Florence exclaims her surprise at his obscenely large ears and the fact that he is the smallest mouse she has ever seen, and Uncle Alfred comments on Despereaux being born with his eyes open and adds that he's sickly.

2. In what ways do Despereaux's siblings attempt to educate him on how to be a mouse?

Despereux's siblings attempts to educate Despereaux on how to be a mouse include when Furlough demonstrated how to scurry but Despereaux was mesmerized by the stain glass window and stood there, bewitched, while Furlough vanished. Despereaux's sister Merlot instructed him on the art of nibbling paper but when Despereaux saw the words on the page, he was unable to eat it because to do so would ruin the story. After Merlot left, Despereaux read the story.

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