Study Guide

A Little Princess Perseverance

By Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Chapter 2

Little Sara rose in her seat. She was beginning to feel rather desperate, as if she were almost in disgrace. She looked up into Monsieur Dufarge's face… (2.37)

Sara won't let Miss Minchin keep thinking that she doesn't want to learn French… much to Miss Minchin's embarrassment. Oops!

Chapter 4

Sara stood by the howling furious child for a few moments, and looked down at her without saying anything. Then she sat down flat on the floor beside her and waited. (4.38)

The only way to deal with a screaming toddler is to wait it out, like a storm. (Oh, and it helps if you can then distract her with a story.)

Chapter 8
Sara Crewe

"Yes," answered Sara, nodding. "Adversity tries people, and mine has tried you and proved how nice you are." (8.76)

Even though their class stations are now completely different, Ermengarde still works doggedly to maintain her friendship with Sara. After all… BFF! She may not be a heroine like Sara, but Ermengarde still has our vote.

During the first month or two, Sara thought that her willingness to do things as well as she could, and her silence under reproof, might soften those who drove her so hard. (8.10)

Sara tries to do her new chores and jobs as well as possible, but Miss Minchin still hates her guts. Perseverance isn't going to soften this one up.

Chapter 10

"I can't bear this," said the poor child, trembling. "I know I Shall die. I'm cold; I'm wet; I'm starving to death." (10.32)

Don't give up, Sara! Magical Indian men with their trained monkeys will be on their way to save you soon enough!

Chapter 11

"Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside." (11.20)

Sara's not going to give up her inner princess. Nuh-uh, no way. After all, you can't take away an imaginary crown.

Chapter 12

"Come, come," said Carmichael. "We shall find her yet…" (12.48)

The search for Ralph Crewe's daughter continues, even though the odds of finding her look awfully slim. So, it looks like there's perseverance on both sides of the wall.

Chapter 13

But she persevered obstinately, and as the muddy water squelched through her broken shoes and the wind seemed trying to drag her thin jacket from her, she talked to herself as she walked, though she did not speak aloud of even move her lips. (13.10)

Sara can even determinedly talk herself out of feeling cold and hunger… or at least some of it, anyway. Everyone has a breaking point—we think.

Chapter 16

And she came in with a springing step, color in her cheeks, and a smile hovering about the corners of her mouth. (16.25)

What's up! Even after being denied breakfast, supper, and dinner for days, Sara shows Miss Minchin that she can't keep her spirits down. (Okay, well, it helps that she actually is being fed in secret. But still.)

Chapter 17
Mr. Carrisford

"We must begin at once. No time must be lost," Mr. Carrisford fretted. "Have you any new suggestions to make—any whatsoever?" (17.39)

Sara wasn't to be found in Paris, but Mr. Carrisford is determined to keep looking for her, even if it's blindly. Luckily his patience is just about to be rewarded.

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