Forget Katniss Everdeen - this is your grandmother's children's book heroine. Pollyanna, one of the most popular children's books of the early 20th century, once was all but omnipresent - the book spawned umpteen ghostwritten sequels, a Parker Brothers board game, and a 1960 Disney movie starring Hayley Mills. But nothing beats the original - a tale of a determinedly optimistic young girl whose "glad game" has inspired generations of readers to meet life's challenges with a little creative thinking and a sunny disposition. Narrator Rebecca Burns gives a measured, unpresumptuous reading of this classic tale.
As Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she exclaims, "Oh, Aunt Polly, I don't know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you!" And from this point she begins to bring cheer into everybody's life, including the sick, the lonely, and the just plain miserable. All are transformed, until one day when something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn't know how to feel glad anymore.
American novelist Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna series and "Glad Game" generated a popular phenomenon in its day. The improbable heroine remains popular today and the name Pollyanna is well known to be a stereotype for a person who is characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything.
©1998 Joss Recordings; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.
Rebecca Burns has great accent. I can't quite put my finger on the origins but she is perfect for this story. The word Pollyanna has taken on something of a negative connotation, a kind of empty headed happiness despite circumstances, usually said in a sneering condescending tone after the fashion of some college professors or self righteous politicians. I carried away a very different idea of a Pollyanna. For your consideration: Her father died. Her mother died. Her brothers and sisters all died. She is homeless and penniless. She is sent to live with a relative who doesn't love her or want her. She truly stands alone. She took all the hard knocks that the world threw her way. As often as she was knocked down; she picked herself up, dusted herself off and found a reason to smile as she faced the next trial. Even when pummeled with blows which have brought great men to their knees, Pollyanna did not yield. Almost, perhaps, but she never surrendered. Further evidence for your consideration: Who changed? Not Pollyanna; she was the glowing wondering little person at the end that she was when we first met. Nope, it was the adults who were changed by this small force of nature: Aunt Polly, the doctor, Nancy, Mr. Pendleton, the minister, et al, in fact an entire town. So if someone is Pollyannaish, what are they? In my book, brave as a combat Marine, loyal as a Saint Bernard and tough as a Pollyanna Whittier.
Although there were parts I lost patience listening to pollyana being TOO GOOD, I love the fact that it is so well described that made me feel as I was living the story caring for Pollyana and her loved ones :)
Read it for your Kids or listen for your entertainment :)
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