In this section, the main characters are being introduced. In this version of 'A Little Princess' there is an additional main character Peter. Although he does not exist in the book he fits perfectly into the story. More characters are to be found in the nearly complete character list at the end of this page.
It is also important to understand that this is not a mere good-evil plot as most people think at a first glance. Some of the characters are quite complex and as the storyline continues, more and more of their personalities is revealed.
Although Sara is an intelligent child, she knows not too much about the real world when she enteres Miss Minchin's school. Having spent a carefree time in India, it is at the Seminary where she learnes that the difference between rich and poor people is reality and not just a story from a book. Becky's fate has makes her think about such things for the first time.
After the tragic death of her father, Sara herself must live in poverty. But the hard life as a scullery-maid of the Seminary reveals Sara's most impressive qualities. Despite the many hardships she has to bear, she manages to keep the right spirit and she is firm in her belief that you can survive everything if you only try hard enough. The way her fight is held in the series is a bit different than in the original novel. The novel is mainly focused on Sara's imagination, her fancy to "pretend" things. She especially likes pretending to be a princess; the thought helps her to bear her life. In the anime, Sara does not pretend to be a princess. It is just her character and her ability to make up stories that make people think she is a like a princess and they are probably right. The Sara from the anime has got a very strong will. The help of her friends (old and new ones) and her intention to never give up hope give her the strength to survive.
Sara's thoughts are occupied mostly by her own fate of course. But gradually she begins to understand that there are other poor people and plenty of them. Near the end of the series Sara finally has got an impression how people live and work in the poor man's quarters of London. And after everything is over little is left of the naive, little Sara who once came from India to England.
It is easy to hate the headmaster of the Seminary. Miss Minchin is a dominant and unfriendly person and can be very cruel. When Sara lost all her wealth Miss Minchin made her a servant of her school but not out of symphathy. Sara is treated even worse than her fellow servant, Becky. It may be concluded that Miss Minchin simply likes to persecute Sara but things are not that easy. There are several reasons that Miss Minchin is so mad at Sara.
The Seminary means everything to her. So she is always worried about its reputation as well as its financial status. Girls with rich fathers are therefore welcome guests. Sara's father is very rich so here comes a great opportunity to get a new show pupil for the Seminary. Unfortunately not long after Sara's arrival a very unpleasant incident happened. Due to a misunderstanding Miss Minchin experienced a humiliation in front of the class. Since then Sara always remained a rebellious child in Miss Minchin's view. Nevertheless she continues using Sara as a show pupil.
Everything is almost forgotten when the news of the diamond mines which Sara's father has invested in reach the Seminary. Miss Minchin sees a great chance and does everything to make Sara feel comfortable. Because Sara's birthday is approaching Miss Minchin spends a lot of money to arrange the birthday party. But suddenly everything is lost. No show pupil, no money. Miss Minchin has actually lost money because of Sara. Miss Minchin feels deceived. She did not like to arrange that gorgeous party for Sara. She thought she was forced to do that to uphold the reputation of the Seminary and eventually get some extra financial support. But everything was in vain and she makes Sara responsible for that. Moreover Sara always has been a rebellious child, has she not?
It is not easy to understand Miss Minchin. But I can tell that she had to work hard to build up her Seminary. This resulted quite in an obsession for the Seminary. In one of the latter episodes of the series some parts of Miss Minchin's past are revealed.
There is no doubt about it, Lavinia hates Sara. She was used to be given her own way in everything until Sara arrived at the Seminary. Lavinia is egocentric and arrogant but she is no fool. She has easily looked through Miss Minchin and is therefore inordinately jealous of Sara. Even after Sara has lost all her wealth, Lavinia continues to hate her although she would never admit it voluntarily. There is a simple reason for this: no matter what Lavinia is trying, Sara would not give in to her. Never.
Sara has been at Miss Minchin's school for a while when Becky arrived at the Seminary to work as a scullery-maid. Her work is not easy but she desperately needs the money to support her family. In the beginning Sara was just sorry for her. But when Sara herself was turned into a servant, Becky proved as a true and reliable companion who does not let her down.
Peter's father was supposed to drive Sara's carriage but he suddenly got injured. With Sara's help Peter was allowed to do the job instead of him. He is a cheerful and active fellow and can be sometimes a little insolent. Nevertheless he is friendly and often is of great help for Sara. In his view Sara always remained the gentle little princess who once helped him to get his job. Sara had a hard time to convince him to call her just "Sara".
Poor Ermengarde is the worst pupil in class. She tries hard but all those facts and numbers and words just do not want to get into her head. She is used to be laughed at for that reason so it is like a dream to her that the model pupil Sara of all people wants to be her friend. Sara has done well to choose Ermengarde for her friend. She is good-hearted and is loyal to Sara no matter if she is rich or poor.
Sara is generally liked by the little ones because she always relates those wonderful stories, but Lottie adores her. Sara soon became Lottie's "Mamma Sara" because her real mother has died. It is not to be denied that people are quite right when they say that Lottie is a cry-baby. Indeed she cries very often but she can also be very bold (for her age). For example when she decided to visit Sara on the attic in spite of those creepy steps up to her room.
Miss Amelia is the younger sister of Miss Minchin. She is very friendly but always is in the shade of her dominant sister. Miss Minchin makes all the decisions and Miss Amelia never dares to contradict her although she does often not agree, especially as far as Sara is concerned. But slowly a change takes place inside Miss Amelia. It can be noticed for the first time near the middle of the series and more and more it becomes clear that one day Miss Amelia will lose her awe of her older sister.
Well, not really a character but this doll plays a quite important role. Sara pretends that dolls actually can walk and talk like humans but hide their secret. When somebody enters the room they return to the place where they have been before like lightning and it seems as if they were there all the time. Sara managed to keep Emily when everything was taken from her.
|The girls at the Seminary
|People from the working class
|More important people
|More not so important people