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A Little Princess

A Little Princess

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Perseverance Theme

"Never give up" isn't a motto you find on inspirational posters. It's the guiding principle of A Little Princess. Sara lives by these words as she endures one misery after another on her descent into poverty and fall from the esteem of Miss Minchin & Co. Even though her life is admittedly pretty terrible, Sara doesn't wallow in her sadness. She keeps her spirits up by making up stories and fantasies for herself, and keeps hoping that one day things will be better. She even does her chores without complaining. And that's more than we can say for ourselves.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. What's the deal with Miss Minchin? Why won't she give up on harassing poor Sara? 
  2. Why doesn't Sara just snap and throw a fit, already? Does she have any hope that her situation will get better some day?
  3. Why does Mr. Carrisford keep looking for Sara when he doesn't even know her name? 
  4. What would have happened if Sara wasn't so determined to keep going?

Chew on This

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

Sara's unusual self-discipline helps her keep going even when things seem utterly hopeless.

Mr. Carrisford keeps looking for Sara even though he's ill and possibly at death's door because of his overwhelming guilt and loyalty to his friend.

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