In this work, Porter tells us the story of an eleven-year-old girl. The child lost her mother at an early age, experienced poverty and hardship in life, and then lost her father. As a penniless orphan, she was sent to live with her rich aunt. But the rich, eccentric aunt Polly, who lived alone in a large house, did not welcome her niece. She did not even go to the station to meet her. Instead, she sent a maid, Nancy, so that the little girl mistaken her maid for her aunt.
The little girl cried after knowing this, but she immediately found a reason to be happy and turned tears into laughter. Pollyanna had told many, many people in this town about her theory of happiness, and she thought she was playing a happy game. The child’s happy theory and happy games keep divorcing people from getting divorced, make eccentric Pendleton adopt the orphan Jimmy, make the priest change his foolish ideas, and make the town and the world have an amazing change.
As she lay in her hospital bed after the accident, visitors came in droves. This child loves life and everything beautiful. From her father, a pastor, she learned to see life with a unique eye. The secret to happiness is always to explore and find the love and beauty in life and to pass it on to everyone around her. She had told many people in the town of her happy games, which had brought great changes to the indifferent Aunt Polly, Nancy, Mr. Pendleton, Dr. Chilton, and so on, and had brought about amazing changes in the town.
This work is very different from other works of children’s literature. While Pollyanna is physically and mentally healthy and full of life, the adults around her are sickly and twisted. Like the silver lining on the cloud, in this little girl looking for happiness and beauty, those self-righteous adults are just wasting their lives in a dark world. They have forgotten the essence and meaning of life, so they often create a trap for themselves, which seems ridiculous, even hypocritical.
This little girl, adept at finding joy in misfortune, epitomized the modern American spirit of believing, no matter what the circumstances, that everything would be all right. This optimism may seem naive and blind. But when we read this work carefully, when we see the changes of those who were deeply influenced by Pollyanna, we may realize that it is precisely because life is full of hardship and pain that people need to maintain a happy attitude to meet the unavoidable suffering in life. Never complain about the hard things in life, but learn to face them with tolerance, because as Pollyanna said — if you are willing to look for the good things in life, you will find them.