FC: Howl's Moving Castle Diana Wynne Jones Book Report by Chris Chu
1: Setting | The setting takes place in the land of Ingary (The capital of Ingary is Kingsbury). In this magic filled kingdom, spells, invisible cloaks, and seven league boots were everyday items for its citizens.
2: Main Characters Sophie Hatter Sophie Hatter, a hat shop worker and the oldest of the Hatter sisters, is the most important character in the story. Because Sophie is the oldest sibling in her family, when her sisters made fortunes from studying magic and working in a bakery, Sophie had to inherit the family's dull hat business, expected to be working there for the rest of her life. When the Witch of the Waste visits her shop, she made Sophie transform into an elderly woman (The witch thought Sophie was Lettie, who was Howl's lover).
3: Wizard Pendragon (Or Howl) Howl is a powerful wizard in Ingary. When he was a young boy, he offered Calcifer, then a falling star a opportunity to stay alive, in return, to become Howl's servant. Since the king of Ingary knew Howl was a magnificent wizard, he wanted to make use of Howl. However, Howl did not wish to take any responsibility nor any added works. So he spread malicious rumors about himself. Whenever a girl falls in love with him (Howl), he will eat their hearts and suck up their souls. Although those were not the truth, but they helped him escape from taking on the king's work by making the king assume that he's (Howl) is actually a monster. Howl is actually depicted in the story as a rather self-absorbed, dishonest cavalier but ultimately a good- natured person. Howl enjoys "slithering out" during difficult situations and very careful of his appearance.
4: Calcifer Calcifer is Howl's companion fire demon. He was one of the falling stars who was saved by young Howl. He is the castle mover. In the beginning of the story, Calcifer asks Sophie to break his contract with Howl. However, he cannot tell Sophie what the contract says, making it harder for Sophie to break Calcifer's Contract.
5: The Witch of the waste The witch of the waste is one of the most powerful magicians in Ingary. She was banished by the king to the waste land for 50 years for causing chaos to the country. At the beginning of the story, she turns Sophie into an old woman, assuming Sophie is Lettie Hatter.
6: Plot Sophie Hatter is the eldest of the three sisters, which brings her to her gloomy fortune. When her sisters made fortunes by studying magic and working in a bakery, Sophie inherited her family's monotonous hat business, expected to be working there for the rest of her life. After 50 years of peace and prosperity in Ingary, the Witch of the Waste terrorized the country(Ingary) again (She was sent by the king to the Waste for 50 years by causing chaos in the country). One day, Sophie had an argument with a customer (which is the Witch of the Waste). The Witch of the Wastes turns Sophie into a 90-year old woman (Since the Witch mistaken Sophie as Lettie, who is Sophie's sister, who was also Howl's lover). Sophie then leaves the shop and walks to the castle and finds work as a cleaning woman for Howl. When Sophie arrived at the castle, she makes a deal with Calcifer, Howl's fire demon and servant. She makes a bargain with him (Calcifer) : If Sophie can break a contract Calcifer had signed with Howl, then Calcifer will restore Sophie back to her young form. Part of the contract, however, prevents Howl or Calcifer to tell anyone about it. Sophie tries to look for clues to help Calcifer break his contract.
7: Finally, Sophie meets Howl. She; was on an adventure she will never forget: try to free Calcifer from his contract and to defeat the Witch of the Waste in order to prevent any more chaos in Ingary caused by the evil witch.
9: Recommendation I would recommend this book to children who like fantasy stories. This book is written in the similar fashion as Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Savvy by Ingrid Law.
10: Favorite Part My favorite part of the story is when the Witch of the Waste turned Sophie into an old woman. When I read that part, I realized how Sophie's old age represents her misfortune and destiny for being the oldest girl in her family. (One of the major themes of the story is destiny.)
11: Connection This story reminds me of the movie Howl's Moving Castle. The novel and the film both contain the same attributes, such as Sophie and her sister's destiny. One similarity between the book and movie is when the Witch of the Waste transformed Sophie into a 90-year old woman (the witch had mistaken Sophie as her sister, Lettie)
12: We | Websites I borrowed pictures from http: enwikipedia.org/wiki/File: Howl's- Moving- Castle.jpg http:// images1.fanpop.com/images-image_uploads/Howl-s-Moving-Castle-howls-moving-castle-913551_1024_768.jpg http://demarcusar.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/harry-potter.jpg http://egB63.files.wordpredd.com/2008/06/savvy.jpg http://i65.photobucket.com/alblums/h232/ tigger187/Howls Moving castle/pichowlsmoving1.jpg http://www.tongs.org.uk/files/calcifer.jpg http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u171/saliast/howl.jpg
13: http://www.onlineghibli.com/howls_castle/char/sophie.gif http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a4/Howl's_Moving_Castle_(BookCover).jpg