A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess

I assume I don’t have to tell you much about this book – this is THE classic loved by both adults and kids around the world and I did love it so much – except the fact that I have never read the actual book; I have only read its comic adaptation or animated one when I was a child.

Back in the day, there was a popular animated program broadcast on Sunday evenings featuring word-classics such as Little Women, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and this, ‘Little princess’ was my absolute favorite.

After all these years, I finally got my hands on this book – the original one not the translated version – and I have to admit, it was as moving as ever; it still holds so much power to enchant me. This book is simply amazing.

However, I’m not sure if it is because of me being jaded and cynical, there are some points that I couldn’t related to Sara wholeheartedly.

First and foremost, she is PERFECT for a mere 11 or 12 something year-old girl. How can a mere child be so matured, calm and collected? Of course, there are scenes where she takes her rage out on her beloved doll, Emily or distances herself from her friends, yet she still retains her dignity and refuses to be reduced down to being spiteful. I think I’ll need to take a page out of her book in this regard.

Secondly, although she eventually amends her remark about Ermengarde before she actually says it, it can’t be denied Sara in fact thinks of her as being ‘stupid.’
In my opinion, ‘stupid’ itself is a very derogatory, strong word and that implies one disregards others, looking down on them.
By the same token, I felt Sara is a bit disrespectful to Miss Minchin after Sara has lost everything – her beloved father, her fortune, anything you can think of – and fallen in a state of a penniless with no one to be looked after.
She could have been dead out on the street had it been for Miss Minchin; she ought to have thought of herself as fortunate to have a roof over her head, yet she refuses to utter a word ‘Thank you.’
It goes without saying that Miss Minchin is very detestable (as we all know too well), but she could have shown her gratitude even a bit, if you ask me.

Other than that, this is a very moving story. Sara teaches us that we don’t have to stoop ourselves to the same level of those who despite us or make fun of us, or we don’t have to resort to the ‘eye-for-eye’ tactic. Instead, we should just hold our heads high and not let them get to us.

As this is a Classic story written more than 100 years ago, it may be a bit challenging for beginners, but I think it would make a nice change to revisit some classic stories that you adored in your childhood 🙂


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