Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Little Princess By Frances Hodgson Burnett

 How would you feel if one day you had everything- wealth, family, education and a house-and then suddenly everything was gone and you only option for survival  was to become on the servants at your ex boarding school? How would you feel and react?
The story begins with seven years old, Sara Crewe and her Father Captain Crewe arriving at Miss Minchin’s Elite Boarding School for girls. Sara Crewe comes from a wealthy family that lives in India,  but Captain Crewe( a widower ) decides that young Sara would be trained in all girls boarding school in London. Sara is an intellectual and imaginative young girl, who possesses a special gift of storytelling.  Even thought, she becomes very popular because of her great wealth and her ability to make up different stories, she doesn't have many friends. In fact, her best friend is a porcelain doll that she named “Emily”. She also becomes close friends with a young maid, Becky. Another thing that makes Sara Crewe even more special is that she doesn’t act and behave like the other wealthy girls in her Boarding school, she is not demanding nor does she tease the unfortunate. An unexpected tragedy occurs, that completely changes her life. She is no longer the wealthiest girl. Miss Minchin doesn't pass the opportunity to humiliate her and makes her one of the servants in return of food  and shelter.Instead of feeling hopeless and loss, Sara finds the courage to overcome every obstacle to regain her happiness.
Frances Hodgson Burnett did a great job in creating this novel because it presented a new perspective from the original school stories. Not only did she make the protagonist a young girl, but she also made her to challenge gender stereotypes and social status expectations.
I think this novel could be taught in English High school, primarily to first year HS students. It has a lot of themes( grieve, death, loss, ect) that many young HS students could relate as they continue their transition from elementary to High School.  

This novel has also been adapted in a Film. Here is a clip of the trailer:

1 comment:

Jessica Pagliara said...

This sounds like a great book. I can see young teenage girls getting captivated in it. It seems to almost bring out the inner child in everyone. The movie looks good too!