By Kayla Aldrich, Read to Them Staff
Hello, all and happy Wednesday! We hope that you’re enjoying your time with Louis, Sam, and the rest of The Trumpet of the Swan’s unforgettable cast. While we’re sad to see that we’re nearing the end of our read, we wanted to take a few moments to discuss one of the most beautiful themes from Trumpet: the value of perseverance in the face of great difficulties.
As we know, Louis is a swan born without a voice. As a cygnet, this made it difficult for Louis to communicate with his family and, when he’s older, caused Louis to struggle in attracting a mate. So, in a drastic display of love, Louis’s father breaks into a music store and steals a trumpet, aiming to give his son a way to speak.
Even when Louis has a trumpet - something he feels guilty for even owning - he must learn how to play the instrument. And he does! Louis takes small steps that accumulate into large strides; he becomes the camp bugler, he plays for the Swan Boat riders in Boston, he picks up work at a night-club in Philadelphia, all while gaining fame and notoriety all around. Additionally, he uses a slate and piece of chalk to write, having spent time in school with his dear friend, Sam.
But other swans can’t understand the words he writes. In one notable scene, Louis tries to use the slate to communicate with his parents. When he’s met with blank, confused states, he sadly wipes “Hi, there” from his slate and feels more lonely than ever.
Still, rather than let the sadness and frustration get to him, Louis keeps going until he finds a solution: to communicate in the language “anybody can understand, the language of music.”
Louis’s determination paired with this brilliant idea leads him in all the directions that his heart desires! He wins the heart of his beloved Serena and uses his trumpet skills to make the money that will pay his father’s debt. He finds his own voice, and Louis is finally, finally heard.
At least once in your life, it’s very likely that you have felt out of place. Maybe even felt as if you didn’t have a voice, just like Louis. And while you may find yourself in a position that’s upsetting, frustrating, and even anger-inducing, it’s important to try and not let yourself get bogged down with negativity. Your differences are what make you unique, what set you apart! Be proud of who you are, and know that while you may only be one voice, what you have to say is meaningful and it matters.
Thank you for giving us your time today. If you take anything from this post, let it be this: you are stronger than you give yourself credit for, and if you put your mind to it, no task or difficulty is too big to overcome. Be sure to join us back here on Friday for our Reconnect and wrap-up of The Trumpet of the Swan. Until then, all - be well, be kind, and happy reading!