Because this book takes place mostly in the Forest Sauvage and in the surrounding areas, Merlyn has ample opportunity to provide Arthur with numerous out of body adventures, all of which help him prepare for the life he is destined to live. The first adventure that Merlyn provides Arthur occurs on the grounds of the castle. Merlyn turns Arthur into a fish, specifically a perch. Both Merlyn and Arthur go swimming in the moat of the castle. While in the moat, Merlyn introduces Arthur to Mr. P, the King of the Moat. When Arthur swims up to Mr. P, he sees “… a face which had been ravaged by all the passions of an absolute monarch - by cruelty, sorrow, age, pride, selfishness, loneliness and thoughts too strong for the individual brains” (White, 51). Mr. P tells Arthur “only Might is Right” (White, 52), just before he tries to eat Arthur. This encounter with Mr. P teaches Arthur that might isn’t always right, having power with intelligence and understanding is more important than being the strongest. What Arthur lacks in strength, he makes up for in brains. He also learns that a dictatorship is not a good way to rule and is not fair for anyone.
From being a bird, Arthu...
... middle of paper ...
...tion were to occur, being prepared with help could be the difference in life or death. As a king, preparation is very important and should always be recognized, not overlooked.
Arthur goes through tasks that are challenging for him both mentally and physically, which ultimately help him to grow up and give him the experiences needed to make difficult decisions as the new King of England. T.H. White does a fantastic job of incorporating life lessons through the fictional adventures taken by the youthful future King. Being able to work well with others and perform under pressure are important abilities needed to rule a country. Intellect, bravery, and respect are just a few of the qualities that comprise a great and powerful leader. The Once and Future King provides as an excellent example of how those abilities and qualities can transform a child into a mighty king.
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