Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Absolutely loved a book and cried on almost every page. How amazing it must be to be joyful in life! I want to play that game and teach my children to play it too.

The little orphan girl, Pollyanna, is sent to live with her gruff Aunt Polly after the death of her father. What a potential set-up for a sad life outlook, but she manages to transform not only her aunt but many other townspeople with the ‘Glad Game’ her father taught her. Always look for the silver lining in every cloud and you’ll be bound to find it.

I’ve noticed Pollyanna has been given a bit of a bum rap in recent years. She’s almost always poked fun at as an unnaturally, over-the-top optimist, and very rarely do people point us to her as an example of how to live our lives. I think people assume that she refuses to acknowledge the bad side of life at all, choosing to live in a delusional world of denial. Most people probably haven’t read the book. That’s off track.

Pollyanna doesn’t deny the bad. She just chooses to accentuate the positive, which seems a healthy way to live. So many people who acknowledge the benefits of that attitude are the same people who say, “I’m not suggesting that you become a Pollyanna.” As a matter of fact, I believe they are.

There are other characters with good supporting roles. Aunt Polly was surely a product of the austere nineteenth century. Surely not many modern ladies would ever become such sourpusses. I like the laugh we got when Pollyanna asked Mr John Pendleton if she could see the skeleton in his closet. And one of my favourite scenes is one which Pollyanna wasn’t even in. It’s when little Jimmy Bean goes to explain to Aunt Polly why she must let Dr Chilton see Pollyanna.

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