Sunday, May 8, 2011
Thoughts: Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
Daddy-Long-Legs is about an orphan named Jerusha Abbott who prefers to call herself Judy. A board member of the orphanage Judy is staying in notices her, and offers to pay for her college education—including her board, allowance, basically everything. The rest of the novel tells Judy’s adventures in college, especially as she becomes acquainted with Jervis Pendleton.
I recently read Anne of Green Gables, so I guess it’s unavoidable that I’d compare Judy to Anne. They were both orphans who did well in school. Both love literature, are frank, and have wild imaginations. The difference is that I loved Anne from the very beginning, while I felt an overwhelming urge to slap Judy with a hardbound book most of the time. Judy did grow on me, though, in the last couple of chapters, but she's ridiculously annoying in the beginning. I couldn’t even believe she was eighteen, because she acted like a twelve-year-old.
Funny enough, I liked the setting of Daddy-Long-Legs more than Judy herself. I found the experiences of a 1910s college girl very interesting. I guess, at the time, everybody must have been talking about women’s suffrage, and I felt that the author expressed her views on the subject quite clearly in the book. There were also little details, like how most of the girls in Judy’s school grew up with Little Women. I loved that.
I liked Daddy-Long-Legs, especially the ending, but that was it. I thought Dadd-Long-Legs’ identity was predictable, and that spoiled the book a bit for me. It would have been more fun if I kept guessing. So, a little MEH on this one.