by Kelley Smoot Garrett
Fairy tales, of the type Letitia was looking to model Princess April Morning-Glory after, always had a moral, an important lesson meant to be learned by the children who read or had the story told to them – and it was meant to be lived by the adults reading the story to the children. A moral lesson is also s a key component of any of Douglas Fairbanks or Mary Pickford’s films: a strong display of just and honorable behavior by the hero or heroine, which in turn is greeted by similar helpful and genuine kindness, offered by their peers.
There is also a striking resemblance of our heroine, Princess April, to Letitia’s dear aunt, Mary Pickford, both physically, and in Princess April’s portrayal as an all-knowing, wise-beyond-her-years child, is marked for the similarities to Pickford’s roles in films such as The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), Daddy-Long-Legs (1919), Pollyanna (1920), and Sparrows (1926).
Going back to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth cycle, in this diagram below, at about 4 o’clock we see Princess April’s current phase: Tests, Allies, and Enemies. She’s tested by her inability to go back home, she has an ally in the blue butterfly and on this page is done a good deed by a cat who let’s her sleep in his ear. And as for enemies, we already know Fairy Misery and her Spy Spider are on Princess April’s tail, so the triumvirate of challenges are manifest.
And here we start to find out what this tale’s moral is going to be about, when the pussy cat offers his ear as a bed for the wee fairy lass. As Princess April is the recipient of a Good Deed, she will soon be asked to step up to the plate and…. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of the story. For now, let’s note the Doing of a Good Deed.
Until next week, dear readers.