Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin Summary & Study Guide

Liesl Shurtliff
This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.
This section contains 641 words
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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin Summary & Study Guide Description

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Rump lived in an unnamed village in a mountainous region of an unnamed country. Rump’s father died in an accident in the gold mines of the mountain before Rump was born. His mother died giving birth to him. With her last breath she told his grandmother what the baby boy’s name would be. She said “Rump. . . Rump. . .” but then breathed her last breath before she could tell his grandmother his complete name. It was a law in the community that children had to keep the name that their mother gave them. He was henceforth known as “Rump”.

Rump suffers from the misfortune of having a really bad name. He also suffers from never having known his mother who he often thinks and wonders about. His unhappiness with his lot in life caused him to stop growing when he was just eight. So not only does Rump have a dreadful name, he is the smallest boy in town. Rump is teased unmercifully by the other kids, especially two bullies named Bruno and Frederick. He is the “butt” of their ridicule and in fact they call him “butt”. On his twelfth birthday they give him a “present” – they threw what looked like mud in his face. But it wasn’t mud; the boys pointed out that it was the perfect gift for him because it came from a cow’s rear. Rump has a rough life. He has to work in the gold mines all day to try to find enough gold to exchange for rations. It is his and his grandmother’s only means of support. But the mine is running out of gold and he is at a disadvantage because he is too small to use a pick-axe. Each week he barely finds enough gold to get even a small amount of food.

Rump lives with his grandmother who loves him. But she is old and sick and doesn’t take the place of his mother. He discovers his mother’s old spinning wheel in a pile of firewood. He wants to keep it but his grandmother wants to throw it in the fire. She tells him not to use it. He is too young and could get hurt. But the boy is curious and when his grandmother is asleep, he decides to try it out. To his astonishment when he spins a handful of straw, it turns into skeins of gleaming gold.

Although Rump wants to keep his gift of spinning gold a secret circumstances are such that he is forced to sell his gold to the greedy miller who felt he had found his own personal gold mine. When the king gets wind of the unusual gold that someone was crafting in the village, he comes to town with his soldiers to search each house to find out who was making the gold. The miller’s lies and deceit set off a series of events that result in an awful situation for Rump and others, including the miller’s own daughter.

The Witch of the Woods tells him that he will find the rest of his name. She also warns him against the perils of magic. Every act of magic, even the smallest, has a consequence. Rump eventually leaves the village and sets off to find the rest of his name and to liberate himself from a life of spinning gold for greedy men. In his ventures, he makes good friends and learns a lot about himself, his mother and life in general. He learns that his name is Rumpelstiltskin and that he indeed possesses a powerful magic. Along with his name, he finds resolution about the mystery surrounding his mother and about magic itself. Rumpelstiltskin also discovers that love is a special kind of magic and in a category all by itself.

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