04 November 2013

+JMJ+

Reading Diary: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett

It began with earls: his grandpapa, whom he had never seen, was an earl; and his eldest uncle, if he had not been killed by a fall from his horse, would have been an earl, too, in time; and after his death, his other uncle would have been an earl, if he had not died suddenly, in Rome, of a fever. After that, his own papa, if he had lived, would have been an earl, but, since they all had died and only Cedric was left, it appeared that he was to be an earl after his grandpapa's death--and for the present he was Lord Fauntleroy.

He turned quite pale when he was first told of it.

"Oh! Dearest!" he said, "I should rather not be an earl. None of the boys are earls. Can't I
not be one?"

But it seemed to be unavoidable . . .

I have a friend who guessed, way back in 1999, that a hot new children's author marketed as "J.K. Rowling" was a woman, simply because the character of Harry Potter was such a girl. =P That friend would have a field day with Cedric Errol.

Long before Frances Hodgson Burnett, who now has her own tag on Shredded Cheddar, wrote about a girl who pretended to be a princess, she had a story about a boy who discovered that he was a lord. Having finally read the earlier novel, I see that I missed nothing. Sara Crewe was a vast improvement on her creator's first effort--and not just because I am certain that if I met Cedric in real life, I'd be tempted to dropkick him.

Perhaps that's why I never got into his anime series, although I watched Sara's whenever I could catch it.



Yes, I wrote "anime":
Now meet Princess Sara and Cedie [sic], Ang Munting Prinsipe.

Seriously, Sara and Cedric are very much alike, particularly in their didactic purpose. The first key is their names: Sara means "princess," while Fauntleroy suggests the bountiful fountain of a king. Unlocking the lessons, you see that A Little Princess is, as I suggested in its Reading Diary entry, an instruction manual for any child who must deal with great adversity, while Little Lord Fauntleroy is the instruction manual for any child who must deal with great wealth. And that's half of the latter's problem, really.

It's all very fine to say that if you have money, you ought to use it to improve the lives of of everyone around you . . . but how many children do you know have filthy rich grandfathers willing to indulge their every whim? Cedric is a complete fantasy who has all the moral weight of Superman advising people to take up leaping from building to building, even if he leads by example. At least Sara, in her poverty, learns that smiles and kind words can be "largesse" that never run out. There's a life lesson for you.

Then we have the issue of whose fantasy Cedric is. I simply can't imagine boy readers caring much for a hero who wins everyone over with his charm at the first meeting and is rewarded with a castle, a pony, and legions of admirers who think he is beautiful. Now, I admit that I have not known many boys in my life--just Camera Man, Cue-card Boy, Fire Storm, Doctor Nemesis, Doctor Decimator, Lug Wrench, Scrap Metal, and Skid Breaker (Oh, wow. More than I would have said before I counted them again--LOL!)--but I would bet the rest of my Frances Hodgson Burnett reading project that the average boy wouldn't want to be Cedric as much as he would like to be a soldier . . . or a ninja . . . or a dinosaur . . . or even a zombie.

But in that case, why did Little Lord Fauntleroy become a huge international best-seller? . . . Probably the same reason Fauntleroy-inspired outfits became a huge international fashion trend.

The Harry Potter connection is turning out to be more meaningful than I thought! 

A little disappointed that she never had a daughter, Burnett let her sons' hair grow long enough for her to curl it into ringlets, and dressed them in velvet suits with big lace collars, floppy bows, or cascading ruffles, all of which she made herself. When she wrote her first children's novel, she styled its little hero in the same way. And apparently, no one thought this was weird. In fact, other mothers were clearly charmed enough to  follow suit. No word on whether the little boys appreciated being so "beautiful."

There's a sense in which Little Lord Fauntleroy is a girls' fantasy that just happens to have a male character in the lead role, but it is more accurate to say that it is a woman's fantasy about what an ideal little boy would be like. And I shouldn't have been so surprised that this paragon has been raised by a wise and loving single mother, and barely misses his father. I tend to think of the celebration of single motherhood as a shibboleth of our modern age, but apparently, it's a much older temptation--one known to any woman who has ever wished a little boy were more like a little girl.


Image Sources: a) Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, b) Little Lord Fauntleroy anime DVD, c) A Little Princess anime DVD, d) Cedric Errol costumes, e) Harry Potter costumes

35 comments:

love the girls said...

I've not read this book, but I'm most of the way through The Lost Prince and the boys come off far more manly.

As for Harry Potter,while he was a petulant brat from first book to last scene with Draco Malfoy, he does redeem himself a tiny bit with the naming of his son. And the other boys in the story, come off rather well with a the type of toughness one expects of a British schoolboy.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I started The Lost Prince the other night and was pleasantly surprised as well. (But let's not discuss it in depth until it gets its own post, okay?)

With respect to Harry, I didn't find him bratty until Order of the Phoenix, still my least favourite book in the series. But I agree with my friend that, for a hero, he is incredibly passive in the first few books. A male Cinderella, waiting for someone to drop into his life and make it possible for him to go to a ball where he will finally be loved.

love the girls said...

Ms. E.
While Harry Potter does become more of a brat, his petulance makes it's appearance during his encounter with Draco Malfoy where he acts like a jerk to Draco from the beginning where as Draco would have been far better as a friend if only Harry had extended a hand and not a serpent.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I don't know about that, LTG. Draco seems like a git from the beginning. Unlike Sara, whom we discussed under another post, Harry seems to have found the perfect peers: a girl who is also an outsider but willing to try hard to fit in and another boy whose family background is both a lot to live up to and a lot to live down. Indeed, there's even a sense in which Draco is too good for Harry. (Knowing what comes later, I wonder that Draco was so eager to make friends; he would have known that the other boy had a "mud-blood" mother.)

And it's really Draco who never found proper peers. I do wonder, given the dozens of students in Slytherin House, that he couldn't find others better than Crabbe and Goyle to hang out with. But then again, J.K. Rowling is notorious for making Slytherin completely hateful.

Brandon said...

I actually think Rowling is being very plausible here, since it's a common behavior for status-seeking boys -- and all of Slytherin is by definition status-seeking. Draco hangs out with Crabbe and Goyle precisely because doing so guarantees that he's the best in the group; just as Crabbe and Goyle hang out with him because they get the incidental social benefits of being 'friends' with Draco, who has independent sources of status. (The same dynamic is also why Slytherin is often so awful: being in Slytherin means that you are ambitious for status, and the ruthlessness of kids trying to be better than other kids is almost always the cause of what people remember as most awful about their childhood.)

I think another Rowling does right along the lines is that she recognizes that Harry's friendship with Ron comes dangerously close to having the same dynamic. Harry always gets to shine next to Ron, and Ron both gets to bask in the incidental glow and has to deal with the temptation to hate Harry for it (because he can see what's happening, whereas I don't think Crabbe and Goyle do). It almost destroys their friendship, and is only prevented from doing so by the combined fact that they really do like each other and that Hermione is the third in the group.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Your analysis, Brandon, makes me wonder how the dynamics would have played out if Harry had been less turned off by Draco during the initial meeting and had been sorted into Slytherin. Would Draco have been happy to play Ron to Harry? Would he have expected Harry to have the deference of Crabbe and Goyle? Or would they have become the ultimate "frenemies," each envying the other's advantages but understanding that they do better as a team than as individuals? (Oh, my. That sounds like hell. =P)

But as you've pointed out, a student doesn't have to be a Slytherin in order to crave status and recognition, to the point of taking advantage of a friend. Which is why I think that being a Slytherin shouldn't automatically mean that a student isn't capable of forming a real friendship.

Spacetraveller said...

Ah Enbrethiliel,

I have never read Little Lord F, but it has been dramatised for British TV and I remember more than one lazy Christmas in front of the TV watching it!

I have the opposite problem to the one you describe - and that is, I tend to 'masculinise' girls in MY fantasy world, lol. I think you know exactly what I mean.

Somehow, my chosen field when it comes to storywriting is 'adventure' and I view all characters in it as essentially 'male' but due to political correctness, I feel I must stick in a girl or two, but what I end up doing is reluctantly including them on condition that they are so boyish they are hardly recognisable as girls!

And you might guess who I picked up this 'bad habit' from...

Yes, British writer Enid Blyton! She was famous for (forgive the pun!) the Famous Five, for example, where 'George' was a girl, but with her short hair and masculine mannerisms, was as much a boy as the boys!
And I am sure 'The Secret Seven' and some of her other 'groups' had similar characters.

Such was my inspiration!
*shaking my head*

Hahahahaha! Don't blame me - it ain't me fault, guv'nor!!!

:-)


Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

What did you think of the character of Cedric? I find him awfully, tiresomely good. ;-)

Your adventure world reminds me of the universe of the Alien movies (which I have been wanting to revisit one of these days). You may be aware that the character of Ripley was originally intended to be a man, although they eventually cast a woman, Sigourney Weaver, in the role. I think that that odd fact has always affected the way Weaver has thought of Ripley. She has said that the second movie (in which Ripley gets to be a mother--not just a generic "parent," but a mother) had the wrong understanding of the character; and then she helped to produce the third movie (in which Ripley shaves her head so as to look indistinguishable from the men around her), which dynamites all the foundations of the second.

But perhaps we can't have both plausible adventures and "natural" female characters. A girl will have to be "badass" in some way, if she wants to fit in. I am reminded of the Ents and the Entwives in The Lord of the Rings. Treebeard says that the Ents preferred the wild, tangled forests, while the Entwives valued domesticity and went out into the plains to develop agriculture. (What? Not a single "badass" Entwife? Even the Elves had a Galadriel among the males.)

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that girls "get in the way of adventures"--and I think a lot of girls feel this, too, or else Blyton's George and Weaver's Ripley wouldn't be so popular.

love the girls said...

Miss E. writes : "But perhaps we can't have both plausible adventures and "natural" female characters. A girl will have to be "badass" in some way, if she wants to fit in."

Edgar Rice Burrows wrote in lots of space babes who were very feminine and fit into each story quite well.

In fact he only had one plot in all his books: Guy meets babe. Babes gets stolen, Guy fights and wins babe back. What more can one ask for in Scifi?

But the best is the girl in Equalibrium. The scenes in the interrogation room are amazing.

The girl wasn't badass, but dripping sex appeal while taking the upper hand.

And the android babes in Blade Runner are similar.
________

As for Harry Potter, he and Draco were made to be best friends. Guys like that are not enemies. Or at least that was my experience growing up.

Or course there is somewhat of a ritual. You first have to do your best to beat the guy in a fight, and sports and such, and after that, shake hand and be best friends for years to come.

love the girls said...

Let me add, the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep wasn't nearly as good as the movie precisely because the android girl wasn't as feminine and vulnerable as the android girl in the movie.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I haven't read anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but a friend of mine who loves him has told me that Dejah Thoris once "skewered a villain several times, then kicked his worthless carcass off a cliff." He added that Tavia "hacked off" the arms of Martian apes which were twice her size! If those aren't examples of "badass-ness," then I don't know what is! Yet he would agree with you that they were very feminine women. This is what I can't wrap my head around because a female character who does things like that in a modern movie or novel (Let's define "modern" as anything that came out after Alien) might not be considered feminine.

Anyway, it would be very nice if someone would provide a concrete example of how Deja Thoris and Tavia managed to pull off that balancing act. I promise that I won't be upset about spoilers in this instance! =)

Going back to Harry . . . I'm still riding on my thesis that Harry is more of a "girl" than a boy. (By "girl," I mean what a woman writer thinks a boy is like, rather than what a boy is really like.) So flip the sexes. Hannah Potter, new to this awesome wizarding world, meets Drucilla Malfoy, a pureblood from a long line of wizards, for the first time. Drucilla says insulting things about the giantess Hagar, who is also the first person Hannah can remember being kind to her, and about "Muggle-born" wizards. Later, when they meet again on the train, Drucilla makes fun of Rebecca Weasley's hand-me-down clothes as a way to introduce the point that Hannah should be friends with a better class of wizard. Now, I hate to break this to you, LTG, but a rich girl who insults a poor girl's clothes to underline her own higher status is NOT a nice person. (And perhaps the snide remarks about Hagar earlier can be taken to be "fat shaming.") You won't find any girls blaming Hannah for telling Drucilla to take a walk.

Of course, it may be different for actual boys. =)

Spacetraveller said...

E,

I know not who Cedric is, lol. Or at least I can't remember :-)

I also didn't know that Ripley was originally meant to be played by a man...

I think the reason girls accept characters like George is that they/we want in on the adventure thing, even at the price of sacrificing our budding femininity at the altar of the adventure spirit.
At that age though (early teens), this is acceptable, I think. Not so much at age 30 :-)

love the girls said...

Miss E.,

There's a lot to be said for your Harry is Hanna proposition, just as there is a lot to be said for the every protagonist has special powers proposition.

My only comment was that if they are boys, (and they are supposed to be boys), then they should act like boys do act. The difference between Draco and Harry is that Harry was petulant brat taking his ball home in a huff. Whereas Draco slammed the ball in their face and said do something about it. Nothing wrong with that.

As for babes in sci-fi land, I was taking badass to mean lowlife roller derby. The original Buffy was wasn't badass but a a cute valley girl who could slay vampires while on a summer's walk with her beau keeping her attention focused on what matters.

Similarly, the girls on Mars kept their focus while removing annoyances.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Spacetraveller -- Those must have been really lazy Christmases if you didn't catch on that Cedric is Little Lord Fauntleroy himself! LOL! ;-)

Well, of course, we want in on adventures! But I wonder whether George was Blyton's invention rather than a convention of the time. I'd guess that the majority of girl readers would love a character who twists her long hair into a crown when it is time for an adventure, so that she can still let it down when it is time for a party!

LTG -- Now you're just splitting hairs. Going by the new definition of "badass" (because language has moved on, old man--LOL!), "cute valley girl who could slay vampires while on a summer's walk with her beau . . ." totally fits that bill. So I'm not sure what you're trying to say because you've basically agreed that Dejah Thoris, Tavia and Buffy fit into their respective stories and are very "badass."

As for your question of what more one can ask for in SF . . . What about something else getting stolen and the Guy and the Babe going after it together?

Back to Hannah. Uh, I mean, Harry . . . Isn't taking your ball home "doing something about it"? =P Seriously, what would a boy do if another boy whom he found thoroughly unpleasant invited him to be friends?

I must also ask what evidence there is that Draco would make a good friend for anyone. He's pretty much set up to be a complete sniveling villain.

If there was any lost opportunity for a close friendship with a real peer--and I've been saying this since I read the second book--it was with Neville Longbottom.

love the girls said...

Miss E.,

I think I just said we agree according to the new meaning. But I would rather use the term badass to describe lowlife street brawlers and mud wrestlers and let the women deserving of respect have a more dignified description of their heroic virtue in the face of mortal danger, for instance Artemisian.

Neville Longbottom? He's a nice enough kid, but he's the first kid out in a dodgeball game, or in his case, the first kid in a out casting spells game. A far better peer is Miss H, she's the lost opportunity that I thought would come out right in the end, and looked like it would in the last book, but alas, king weasley took home that prize.

Brandon said...

I think one can see Neville Longbottom as a sort of lost opportunity for the structure of the novel -- not only do we learn (remarkably late) that he is so important as to have been almost The Boy Who Lived, despite having had no indication of it before, but it would have rounded out the group. In a sense, Ron is the only one of the three who is pure Gryffindor. We know that Harry is an almost-Slytherin, and we know that Hermione is an almost-Ravenclaw --both of these come up explicitly. So we really needed an almost-Hufflepuff; and Neville is the obvious choice.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

LTG -- First it was Lew Rockwell editing the verb "suck" out of an article of mine, and now it's you having a problem with "@$$." ROFLM@O! While "Artemesian" is indeed the superior term, it lacks the lovely assonance--or should I say, @$$onance--of its rival.

Now that I think about it, the former also has more psychological weight. The problem with more recent "badass" (or if you prefer, "kick-butt") heroines is that they seem very unnatural. That is, they are, like Harry, modeled after what their women creators think boys are like. For instance, I wonder if Susan Collins was at all aware, while writing The Hunger Games, of how much Katniss Everdene has in common with Artemis, or if she just made her young heroine as feminist as possible.

Speaking of Harry, I reread the scene in which he first meets Draco before going to bed last night. There's a key line which we haven't been considering. Even if we take Draco's bragging and posturing as benign, he almost immediately reminds Harry of the latter's cousin Dudley. And that's the kiss of death, really. =P But now I have to ask you: if you think that Draco would have made a good friend after Harry learned he was a wizard, would you also say that Dudley would have made a good friend before Harry knew the truth?

Incidentally, I also reread Hermione's first scenes and it's quite obvious that she would end up with Ron. As obvious to me (and to, you know, 99% of the world) as, perhaps, a Draco-Harry friendship was obvious to you. It is Ron whom she challenges to show her some magic--and then, of course, he doesn't measure up. A few hours later, when Hermione gets into Gryffindor, it is Ron, and definitely not Harry, who reacts in exaggerated dismay. If I remember correctly, it is also one of Ron's comments (to a typically passive Harry) which causes Hermione to cry in the girls' water closet; and when the two male friends go to rescue her from the cave troll, it is Ron who finally gets a spell right and delivers the KO blow. It's true that Harry and Hermione have a lot of chemistry, too, and even I had moments of "shipping" them (usually when reading about Ron behaving childishly); but the signs that Ron and Hermione were made for each other are undeniable.

Brandon -- That's a great analysis of the initial dynamics among the four! Contrary to LTG's assessment, Neville's being "nice enough, but the first kid out" actually recommends him to the group. Even in the end, when he becomes a more obvious hero (standing up to the Ministry of Magic and not just to his friends), he clearly cares more about the welfare of others than his three fellow Gryffindors.

love the girls said...

Miss E.,
But look at how much better the story would have been if the horcrux had bonded to Ron so that his life and it became inseparable, the same as Harry was a horcrux. With the difference that Ron became infected with evil.

Now that is a fun triangle. With Harry battling Ron before Ron leaves to join the dark lord seeking revenge against Harry intensified by his long simmering envy of Harry. And Hermione now conflicted as to whether she should follow Ron, but doesn't.

With Harry eventually killing Ron because he is a horcrux and Jenny Hating him for it. All of which sets up Harry to end up with Hermione as a happy ending.

Belfry Bat said...

I'm unilaterally declaring a stop to all this Hogwarts fanfictionation.

LTG, go write your own book. (who knows? I might buy it!)

(... the understanding that I've no authority or power to declare a stop to anything on another's 'blog is so obvious it would remain tacit after pointing it out five times... )

love the girls said...

I'll stop, but you should know I have it on the best authority that my plot was actually the original version, and was later changed after flopping at the test screening.

And for much the same reason as Pretty in Pink was changed.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

LTG -- The Harry-Ginny pairing never made sense to me, either, but couldn't you find a nicer way to kill Ron off?

Bat -- Well, now that you mention it, there's still time to declare a quickie ShredChedFanFicWriMo . . .

love the girls said...

Miss E.
Hermione could kill him in a poisoned embrace that saves Harry because Harry as you note is passive hero.

The Harry-Ginny pairing has all the romance and interest of sucking on chalk. Women are typically very good at writing romance, but all of Rowling's romances are so dull as to make one wonder about the author and whether she suffers from never having been loved as a child.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I thought Hermione and Viktor had some potential, but Rowling quickly nipped that in the bud.

And I didn't know until yesterday that Neville ended up with Hannah Abbott. (Who???) All this time, I thought he had married Luna!

If I had the time to commit to an HP FF, I wouldn't write an alternate history in which Neville and Luna do marry, but I'd like to trace Luna's entire history.

love the girls said...

That's strange, I also thought Neville married Luna.

Of all the characters, Luna is probably my favorite.

Bob Wallace said...

I always had the urge to kick Harry Potter for being so gay. "Stop acting like that! Show some spine, you wimp!"

I could only tolerate the first novel.

DMS said...

Good suggestion- I like the idea of Neville and Luna ending up together. :) I liked Harry and didn't have any problems with him. In The Order of the Phoenix he seemed like a moody teenager to me (less so when I slowed my reading pace and listened to the story instead of reading it super fast).

But I have never read the book you reviewed here today- doesn't sound like one I will be picking up. It was definitely interesting to learn about the author- having read A Little Princess. Her sons must have been unhappy about the clothes their mom made them!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

LTG -- We get that impression because he goes in search of her right after the Battle of Hogwarts, but their relationship was left a loose end by the close of the series. We only know about Neville and Hannah because of a Web chat which Rowling participated in after the last book was published. So it's "canon," as we FF writers say, but that doesn't make it good canon.

Bob -- If he had actually been a girl, would you have thought better of the first book?

Jess -- Harry was terribly emo to me in The Order of the Phoenix--but now that you mention it, I did read it very fast, finishing in two days! I'm thinking of rereading the entire series again and seeing how I feel about it.

I'd have to read a biography of Burnett to know how her sons felt about their wardrobe, but I'm just as curious about the issue as you are!

Bob Wallace said...

"If he had actually been a girl, would you have thought better of the first book?"

Never thought about that, but probably would have been more sympathetic to her than Harry.

Ugoki said...

"Sara Crewe was a vast improvement on her creator's first effort--and not just because I am certain that if I met Cedric in real life, I'd be tempted to dropkick him."

Wow, I wouldn't want to see you be a parent, wanting to dropkick a cute child like him.

"while Little Lord Fauntleroy is the instruction manual for any child who must deal with great wealth. And that's half of the latter's problem, really. "

I don't see the book as an "instruction manual". I see it as a comedic story of a cranky grandpa with his overly innocent and optimistic grandkid. Hell, I would even say the real protagonist is the grandpa.

"It's all very fine to say that if you have money, you ought to use it to improve the lives of of everyone around you . . . but how many children do you know have filthy rich grandfathers willing to indulge their every whim? Cedric is a complete fantasy who has all the moral weight of Superman advising people to take up leaping from building to building, even if he leads by example. At least Sara, in her poverty, learns that smiles and kind words can be "largesse" that never run out. There's a life lesson for you."

lol I sense a poor person's jealousy here

"Then we have the issue of whose fantasy Cedric is. I simply can't imagine boy readers caring much for a hero who wins everyone over with his charm at the first meeting and is rewarded with a castle, a pony, and legions of admirers who think he is beautiful."

Well, I am a "boy reader" and I like him.

"but I would bet the rest of my Frances Hodgson Burnett reading project that the average boy wouldn't want to be Cedric as much as he would like to be a soldier . . . or a ninja . . . or a dinosaur . . . or even a zombie. "

Honestly, I think this book is more for the mothers over their actual kids. I think kids those days would rather read some Indian or pirate adventure story.

Doesn't mean the book is not good though.

"There's a sense in which Little Lord Fauntleroy is a girls' fantasy that just happens to have a male character in the lead role, but it is more accurate to say that it is a woman's fantasy about what an ideal little boy would be like."

Definitely.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I confess that the first reaction I had when I read your comment was to remember another blog post by another blogger: Tells for Cognitive Dissonance. I hope you don't mind my sharing that! =)

That's an interesting insight about Cedric's grandfather being the real protagonist of Little Lord Faunterloy. We see that exact same dynamic with Mary and Dickon (whom I also wasn't very impressed by) in A Secret Garden! And if we read A Little Princess with Miss Minchin as a failed protagonist rather than the villain, it has the deeper resonance of a tragedy. Thanks for the insight, Ugoki, and the laughs from the ad hominems.

Ugoki said...

Honestly, for the first half of Secret Garden, Mary is the protagonist. Colin ends up being the protagonist of the latter half.

And as for Little Princess, Sara is the protagonist through and through. The whole story is about her after all.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Sarah is the obvious protagonist of her own book, but Miss Minchin as a tragic figure is something to consider!

Ugoki said...

Eh, Minchin is a greedy and fake person. It's indeed a tragedy for her materialistic self to not be able to get the rich Sara in the end but I have no sympathy for her. She brought it on herself.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

That's precisely the definition of a tragedy! =D It's misfortune you bring on yourself because of your own flaws and your unwillingness to be better! (One of my pet peeves is reporters describing natural calamities as "tragedies" when earthquakes and the like have nothing to do with lack of virtue in the people who died in them.) Miss Minchin's tragedy is that she did not become a better person by the end of the story, the way Cedric's grandfather did.

By the way, Ugoki, where have you been all my life? I just wrote the goodbye post announcing that I will no longer be updating Shredded Cheddar. Why couldn't we have met three years ago???

Ugoki said...

Ah, you mean like a Greek tragedy.

I only discovered this place today from Google.