Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Princess

Back when i was a child, I would faithfully watch Princess Sarah cartoons on TV either before or after I go to school. Then, I would also watch Mary and the Secret Garden. But of all three, my real favorite is Cedie ang Munting Prinsipe. Back then, I have no idea that these three animated series I was so fond watching were Frances Hudgson Burnett's three most popular children's novels in the 1900s, the time when Pooh and Oz series popularized also. So when I was in powerbooks in Trinoma, I bought A Little Princess and swore that I will buy the other two (The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy).

Reading this book was easy. It's shortness and simplicity of language made it enjoyable and comprehensible to readers, especially those of young age. The characters were also vivid, however, I think watching the series made it easy to visualize their characters. I also loved the way Sara Crewe acted/pretended to the things happening to her because, I feel the same, too. Of course, many of us in our childhood days would say that we are maltreated. Then we would pretend or imagine that we are princes or princesses (Fuck! What did Disney do to us!). And so, I think that Sara and I feel the same way, too, in many different situations.

from the series, Sarah Ang Munting Prinsesa
One thing I liked in the series compared to the book was the cruelness of Lavinia and Ms. Minchin. In the series, they were depicted as very bad people, not only through descriptions but through anecdotes. The way they act, the way they talk, the bad things they've done to Sara and Becky will make you loathe them. However in the book, published originally in 1888 as a serialized novella and was rewritten to a full-length novel in 1905, characters' evilness was toned down. There's not much fights between Lavinia and Sara.

They also differed in the number of characters. If you remember from the series about a boy working in the horses' stables and took care of Sara's horse, well that one doesn't exist in the novel. Members of the kitchen were not described also that much.

“Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”
“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--warm things, kind things, sweet things--help and comfort and laughter--and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.”
“When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word -- just to look at them and think. When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wished they hadn't said afterward. There's nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in -- that's stronger. It's a good thing not to answer your enemies.”

Sara Crewe helped me understand the importance of forgiveness, the giving of mercy to people who have grudged you or done you things simply bad. 

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