Pollyanna

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Pollyanna is a classic turn-of-the-century children's novel about an 11-year-old orphan girl. It was written by Eleanor H. Porter, and first published in 1913.[1] In 1960, it was made into a Disney movie starring Hayley Mills.

A sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up, The Second Glad Book, also written by Porter, was published in 1915.[2][3] After Porter's death, Harriet L. Smith and Elizabeth Borton wrote a Pollyanna series.

Porter, born in 1862, was homeschooled (privately tutored) as a child due to illness.[4]

Contents

Plot

Because her mother died giving birth to her, Pollyanna was raised by her father, a missionary in the Midwest US. After her missionary father dies, Pollyanna is sent back East to live with her mother's sister (Aunt Polly).

Her life as the adopted daughter of a wealthy Vermont woman is the subject of the novel.

Pollyanna's chief occupation is playing The Glad Game, as taught to her by her father. The point is to find something good about a situation and be "glad" about it. She teaches this game to anyone who will listen and cheers up the entire town.

In her review of Pollyanna, Sondra Eklund points out that "Many who’ve seen the Disney movie won’t realize that Pollyanna is a very Christian book." Pollyanna's father, a traveling minister, based his "glad game" on

"the “rejoicing texts” in the Bible--all the verses that say to “rejoice” or “shout for joy” or “be glad.” One day he decided to count them and found more than 800. He decided that if the Bible tells us more than 800 times to be glad, maybe we should pay attention."[5]

Disney Movie

The Disney movie of 1960, starred

and introduced

Much of the movie was filmed in Santa Rosa, California and the surrounding area. Hayley Mills won an Academy Award for the most outstanding juvenile performance during 1960. She was also nominated for a 1961 BAFTA Film Award for the Best British Actress. [6]

The Term "Pollyanna"

The term "pollyanna" has passed into the English language, to mean "one who finds cause for gladness in the most difficult situations".[7] Conversely, it can mean "a person regarded as being foolishly or blindly optimistic",[8] or "an excessively or blindly optimistic person",[9] or, in the adjective form "pollyannaish", "unreasonably or illogically optimistic". [10]

References

  1. Bestsellers, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pollyanna [1]
  2. Project Gutenberg, Pollyanna Grows Up [2]
  3. Bestsellers, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pollyanna Grows Up [3]
  4. Bestsellers, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pollyanna Grows Up [4]
  5. Sonderbooks, Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund, Pollyanna, February 17, 2003 [5]
  6. IMDb: Awards for Pollyanna (1960) [6]
  7. "pollyanna." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 22 Jul. 2009. [Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyanna]
  8. "pollyanna." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 22 Jul. 2009. [Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyanna]
  9. "pollyanna." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 22 Jul. 2009. [Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyanna]
  10. "pollyanna." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 22 Jul. 2009. [Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyanna]

See Also

  • Pollyanna at Project Gutenberg [7]
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