I hope y’all have had a fabulous week and are enjoying reading The Little Princess! If you are just joining in, be sure to stop by last week’s discussion post over at Wesley’s blog. (Wesley’s thoughts italicized)
We start off this section with sweet Sarah’s birthday and right before she finds her Dad didn’t make it. What a time to find out and Miss Minchin? What a terrible woman with her response! The section ends with finding out about Mr. Carrisford and Mr. Carmichael setting off to Moscow to track down the little girl they think is Sarah.
One thing both Wesley and I noticed was Sarah’s maturity. As Wesley said: Sarah’s intense grownupness/maturity is good sometimes and weird (for me) sometimes. Like when she gets “The Last Doll”. The way that she basically announces that this will be her last doll, and then doesn’t name it (that we know of?) was a little bizarre. Like the doll wasn’t really to be enjoyed it was just there as a life milestone?
I agree. She thinks much more into the future and handles herself better than some adults I know in much less traumatic situations. But the birthday fun would end right then and there. Wesley said it best:
Also, because life is incredibly cruel, Pa Crewe dies on her birthday. Yikes.
Her reaction goes back to the earlier point: “Soldiers don’t complain,” she would say between her small, shut teeth. “I am not going to do it; I will pretend this is part of a war.”
What did y’all think of her mini furry friend Melchizedek?
“Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without making a sound, to another soul.”
As Wesley mentioned, that over active imagination makes Melchizedek the Mouse a buddy and not a creepy crawly! I do like how you kind of hear the story from his perspective and how he’s really the only one who sees the whole room transformation that happens later.
Another favorite part of this section? Most definitely the Large family. I think they give Sarah such hope for happiness and goodness. Such a beacon of nice/jolly/normalness in a sad bit of the book.
I also really like when Sarah’s fiery sass comes out and how much it effected Miss M. One such time was during an interaction with Miss Minchin.
“I will beg your pardon for laughing, if it was rude,” she said then; “but I won’t beg your pardon for thinking.” “What were you thinking?” demanded Miss Minchin. “How dare you think? What were you thinking?”
Sarah’s character teaches us so much about humanity. I like that they point out that Sarah suffers the most from the loneliness and isolation that she has to endure, not the fact that she’s poor. That’s also pointed out with the mysterious man who lives next door: “solitary man with no family…shattered health and an unhappy mind.” To go along with Wesley’s point, her reaction to reconciling with Ermengarde was a reminder of how touching a friendship restored is:
“Something in her voice made the familiar lump rise in Sara’s throat. It was so affectionate and simple—so like the old Ermengarde who had asked her to be “best friends.” It sounded as if she had not meant what she had seemed to mean during these past weeks.”
Finally, books like this always tend to bring up interesting cultural discussions. I’ll let Wesley take over: I was trying to think of how many books/movies have a mysterious Indian man sidekick. Especially the Sikhs.I feel like it’s kind of a lot. Is that racist? Wolfman is another one I was thinking of, a dumb movie but one I love. There’s got to be more examples though…We just find the turban so darn mysterious I guess. Is Ram Dass a name or a title or both?
We’d love to hear from y’all! Do you have a favorite scene from this section? How about a favorite character or two?
Oh and if you have quotes to share, please do! I’ll leave you with one of my favorites:
“It is a story,” said Sara. “Everything’s a story. You are a story—I am a story. Miss Minchin is a story.”