Written by Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna is a fascinating story of 11-year-old orphan girl who faces every challenge of life by playing the ‘Glad Game’ that she has learnt from her father.
The story begins when Pollyanna, after the death of her parents, is sent by the charitable organisation, Ladies Aid, to live with her mother’s real sister and her only relative, Aunt Polly.
Aunt Polly is a wealthy and stern lady who lives all by herself with just a nanny, Nancy and a gardener, Tom for company. Initially, she is not very happy with the news that Pollyanna would be staying with her. But then she thinks that it is her ‘duty’ to help her dead sister’s child, and she is determined to always do her ‘duty.’ She has never met Pollyanna and is therefore not in the least bit prepared for this child who is unlike any child before or since. Pollyanna, on the other hand, is glad to stay with Aunt Polly as she is the only person she has as her family.
The story progresses with Pollyanna’s numerous disappointments at Aunt Polly’s house as she tries to adjust to the new surroundings and schedules set by the aunt in order to discipline her. Pollyanna adjusts to everything in life by playing the ‘glad game.’ The game was invented by Pollyanna and her father when she got crutches instead of a doll out of the charity box one year. To play the game, the two always tried to find something about everything to be glad about, no matter what it was, even when things were not going well, and when life was being especially difficult. Now that her father was no more, Pollyanna doggedly continues to play the game and also encourages others in her environment to join her in the game.
She starts by teaching the game to her nanny, Nancy. With her cheerfulness, her funny ways, and her determination to always find something to be glad about, Pollyanna wins over everyone she meets in her town; and gradually changes the gloomy, unsociable and negative attitudes of people around her while challenging her own difficult situations at the same time.
Pollyanna is an inspiring and delightful classic story for people of all ages. It teaches a reader to look at life in a positive way, and never give up. The readers may even find themselves playing the ‘glad game’ for, as the people Pollyanna meets find out, the game is highly contagious. A must read.
Anisha Arora reviews this book for The Peeper Times