A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Little Princess Theme of Jealousy
Ah yes, the green-eyed monster in all of us. Sure, Sara has a lot going for her at the beginning of A Little Princess, but most people are happy for her—except, of course, for a select few. Two people who are so jealous of her that they just can't stand it (cue some foot-stomping and high-pitched screaming) are Miss Minchin herself and Lavinia. Miss Minchin hates that Sara can speak French and that she's so rich and smart. (Very mature of her, we know.) And Lavinia was top dog at the school until Sara got there, so she obviously hates Sara. And guess what happens to these two ladies? (Hint: they don't get diamond mines.)
Questions About Jealousy
- How does jealousy motivate someone like Lavinia? Why is she jealous of a little girl, when she's already a teenager?
- Speaking of little girls, why is Miss Minchin—a grown woman—so jealous of a little girl, anyway? What's her deal?
- Why doesn't Sara feel envious of the other students when she's treated poorly and forced to live in poverty?
- What does Sara have that no one else has, even when she's poor? Does anyone seem to be jealous of that?
Chew on This
Jealous and pettiness stunt the emotional lives of Lavinia and Miss Minchin.
By not comparing her circumstances to her peers and feeling sorry for herself, Sara stays sane and hopeful despite her miserable circumstances.