A Little Princess/YMMV

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  • Canon Sue: Sara is oddly beautiful but sees herself as ugly, because she doesn't fit the Victorian-Edwardian image of child beauty at all. She is unfailingly kind and just, has an Arbitrarily-Large Bank Account, is crazy-smart, learned fluent French from her mother, has every child who isn't a total witch at her beck and call, and has no temper outside of a righteous fire for any wrong.
    • She's also a Purity Sue and Sympathetic Sue. Hell, the entire book is about how everyone should feel sorry for the beautiful, intelligent, kind Sara who has been cast to the wolves of fate by the evil adults around her.
      • She does ostracize her friends after she loses her fortune, become unreasonably angry at Ermengarde for asking whether she was "very unhappy" on one occasion, and reflects that this outburst proves that at heart she is "not a nice girl".
      • And besides, she's hard not to like and has the Grandfather Clause on her side.
    • She also gets away with her Suishness because the book is to some extent an examination of that very trope. Sara notes with internal cynicism the worshipping attitudes of everyone around her to her apparent perfection. She points out that she has been lucky to have been born into wealth, and has never had any reason to be anything but gracious. When she is tested by adversity graciousness does not come so easily to her. She struggles to remain patient with Ermengarde, to give most of her food to a hungrier child etc. It is only through a titanic exertion of her imagination and intelligence she is able to maintain the dignity, kindness and largesse she thinks of as 'princess' qualities
  • Nightmare Fuel: The film adaptation adds a great big grizzly Hydra thing made out of thorns.
  • Tear Jerker: It's amazing how heart-wrenching four simple little words can be. "I shall die presently."
    • The 1995 movie's climax counts as a tearjerker as well.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Apart from the colonialist attitude toward India and Indians, the book is pretty loaded with old-school classism. The flip side of Sara's Nice to the Waiter tendencies is that Becky in particular is a groveling doormat, constantly thanking Sara for being friends with her, talking about how she's not worthy, etc. Conspicuously, when Ram Dass and Mr. Carrisford begin to secretly help "the little girl in the attic," they mean Sara and totally ignore Becky. Sara does invite her to share, of course, but she gets Sara's seconds when it comes to anything that's not food -- Sara gets a lovely new down mattress and blanket, for instance, and Becky's equally happy to get Sara's old ones to add to her own. When Becky first finds out that Sara is about to go from filthy rich to the life that she herself has been leading for years -- without the benefit of an education, or a fantasy life to retreat to -- her reaction is to beg Miss Minchin to let her keep waiting on Sara, since she won't be used to taking care of herself. Her happy ending consists of going to live with Sara in Carrisford's house... as her maid. A big step up in the world in the Edwardian Era, and anyone would rather work for Sara than Miss Minchin, but it rankles to a modern reader.
  • Values Dissonance: Same as Unfortunate Implications, plus several minor details that seem odd, like the greenishness of Sara'a eyes being some kind of huge obstacle to her ever being considered a traditional beauty.