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A Little Princess

A Little Princess


by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess Theme of Appearances

When we first meet Sara, her clothes are quite fancy and sumptuous. There is a whole lot of emphasis on outward appearance, clothes and all the finery that comes with "good breeding" in A Little Princess. But despite what Miss Minchin and Lavinia think, they can't just strip away Sara's clothes and expect her to be a beggar or a scullery maid at heart. In fact, even when she's dressed in all rags, the children of a rich family recognize that she must not be a common beggar because of the way she speaks. So—appearances might count, but they sure aren't everything.

Questions About Appearances

  1. How do people perceive Sara differently by the way she's dressed? Why do we get so many descriptions of clothes?
  2. Does Lavinia just hate Sara because of her nice clothes? Or is it more? 
  3. Why doesn't Mr. Carrisford consider that Sara might be at the school next door?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Though her appearance may change drastically in the book, Sara remains the same princess-like girl in spirit.

Even though Sara looks like a beggar girl, her actions make it obvious to people like the Large Family children and the bakery woman that she's more than that.

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