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Equal Rites Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 55 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Equal Rites.
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Equal Rites Summary & Study Guide Description

Equal Rites Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles and a Free Quiz on Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett.

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett, a novel in the Discworld series, tells the story of a young girl, Esk Smith, gifted in magic, fighting obstacles to being trained in all-male Unseen University.

Attended by witch/midwife Granny Weatherwax, Eskarina (Esk) Smith is born and quickly assigned a dying wizard's magical staff (assuming that she is male). In Esk's eighth year, magic begins to bud and Granny becomes her mentor in magic and escort and advocate in traveling to Ankh-Morpork and Unseen University for formal training. During most of their travels, the two are separated with Granny frantic to find her protégé, who leaves a trail of mostly unconscious magic behind her. Esk and Granny are reunited after Esk meets a senior wizard and his protégé and is assured that females may not be wizards or study at Unseen University. Esk and Granny complete the trip to Ankh-Morpork by broomstick. Granny adjusts to city life remarkably well.

Esk does less well, having to enter the University in the company of Master Treatle, the misogynist Vice-Chancellor with whom she clashed on the road. Treatle's protégé, Simon, is hailed for his magic, the true depths of which only Esk perceives, and is admitted, while Esk, failing to demonstrate her abilities, is mocked and sent away. Granny gets her a job on the cleaning staff, which allows Esk to sneak into incomprehensible lectures. Frustrated, Esk decides to learn to read. Ostensibly cleaning the library, she meets Simon, who warns of the dangers that lurk in magic books. The library is thrown into chaos as "Strange Things" from the shadowy Dungeon Dimensions try to break into Discworld through Simon, but Esk's staff knocks him unconscious, blocking them.

Granny and Archchancellor Cutangle spar with magic, Esk "Borrows" the mind of the University's stone walls to confront the Things locked in with Simon's unconscious body, and she is sucked into another dimension, where she battles the Things. Meanwhile, Granny and Cutangle cooperate in finding Esk's cast-off staff in the freezing ocean and bond. Back at the flooded University, Cutangle puts an end to male exclusivity. In the other dimension, Esk realizes that their salvation lies in not performing the magic on which the Things feed. She and Simon return to the University, where they develop a new kind of magic that no one understands but all find worthwhile and comforting, and Granny and Cutangle appear on the cusp of romance as he offers her a teaching Chair.

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This section contains 417 words
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Equal Rites from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.