A Little Princess is a very special book to me and I am quite certain that if it were written by anyone else I would hate it. Sara is a very particular character, because it could be argued that she is an in-canon sue. She is, in many ways, perfect and blessed, initially, with privileges. That being said, that perfection does not make her a horrible character. Sara is very self-aware of her flaws and her role in society. Being spoiled by her father did not make her a spoiled person, nor did it give her a feeling of snob-like superiority. While imagining herself as a princess, Sara performs the qualities she associates with princesses: kindness, polite, caring and intelligent. (It reminds me a lot of Revolutionary Girl Utena in a sense.) She is willing to befriend those less fortunate than her and does something most people today can’t, recognize her own privilege. And Sara does get angry, does get frustrated and doesn’t always act as kind as she should, but the whole point is that she tries to be a good person. Her kindness is genuine and doesn’t come from a need to show off, this is who she is and Burnett portrays that in a way that endears us to Sara rather than find her obnoxious.
Sara Crewe is always going to be one of my favorite fictional females ever, a stalwart friend that always calls to mind my childhood encounter with her for the first time. I loved reading her story all over again, and it just delights me and makes my heart swell as always.