Jan Van Quirm wrote:Hard to explain but I get very annoyed with characters who are too great at everything and hardly put a foot wrong, always brave, always decisive, always bloody right. That kind of thing. I didn't really like Miss Tick that much for the same reasons, but I liked her for not being too impressed with Tiffany in some respects and was a little annoyed with Granny for being so 'nice' to her. Strong characters are great but they need their little quirks and negatives to make them more balanced I think.
I agree and disagree with this characterization of Tiffany. And I also disagree JiB, that giving Granny the Shepherdess is an unintentional insult (though Tiffany worries about it for most of the book).
Tiffany is 7 years old when she goes with her Father to the fair and wins the very best prize at the hoop-la stand. I really doubt that this is any indication of "her powers as a witch" for several reasons. First, that kind of physical magic is something that has to be learned. And further, Pratchett makes a point of describing Tiffany's throw as "any old how
" which suggests that she wanted the pretty prize for her Granny but wasn't (at 7 years old) thinking about the implications. It was the BEST prize, which was important to Tiffany--the prettiest and the biggest. And for Tiffany, age 7, that was what mattered. And she was still 7 when she found Granny dead, did what was necessary and went home and told them that Granny was dead, and the world had ended.
Tiffany is not always right, or unafraid in this book. She is scolded, for example, by William for acting like a spoiled child asking for sweeties instead of using her eyes and head to find the gate into Fairyland. She is frightened by a number of things in the Queen's dominion, and frightened by the fact that she has apparently saved Roland but not her brother. " She has learned so much from her Granny--and it is the recognition in the scene where she sees the light (Granny search for a lost lamb), and finds herself in the bones of the land which gives her the strength to dispose of the Queen.
I do agree that the 9 year old Tiffany seems much more certain of how to proceed and what needs to be done. She accepts responsibility for her actions better than she will in Wintersmith
(at least initially). But I think that the teenage (almost 13) is perhaps the hardest stage for girls -- probably boys too. The world changes then, and what you thought you knew suddenly becomes different.
That is why, at the very end of the book, she takes the Shepherdess figurine (which she has worried about and wanted to destroy for two years) and buries it with Granny. She has learned that Granny understood and is with her still, so the figurine should be with Granny.