Book Review: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The title of the book certainly gives impression that it is children’s book of a fairy tale of once upon a time taking place inside a palace with King and Queen and a little girl being waited on by all kinds of bearers and maids and not doing a single thing herself. Contrary to these expectations it is a book for all ages ( especially grown ups), for all times. The protagonist is a little girl indeed but in a boarding school in London beginning her life there as a rich with privileges and luxuries . But turn of fate and with turn of fate brings her to hardships of working as a maid and living in a dingy dark and cold attic infested with rats. Under both circumstances she is subjected to human vices of jealousy, ridicule and cruelty.

The events highlights that where and you are born with is simply a matter of chance and not in your control. Good things happen by chance and tables turn on you without any warning. And you are subjected to ridicule and jealousy at all times. Someone will always be trying to oppress and break your inner strength no matter what. How you conduct yourself is in your control.

The book brings home the point that human nature and their conduct is innate to humans and not according to their circumstances and environment. Being a princess is simply a state of mind and the airs you carry and how you conduct yourself in the good times and testing times is what makes you a princess.

Although it is not a fable or fairy tale it does bring out familiar elements from story of Cinderella and being rescued by magic in your darkest hour except that it is not magic but unpredictability inherent in human lives.

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