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May 30, 2009

I am going to talk about the novel Daddy-Long-Legs. American writer Jean Webster wrote this novel in 1912. She is the niece of Mark Twain, another famous American writer, Daddy-long-legs was her most famous masterpiece, and Daddy long legs has become the best seller ever since , I read this book when I was a child , and I like it every much, it was such a heart-warming story that influence me in my growing up days.The heroine of this novel is a young girl named Judy; she was parentless and grew up in the orphanage, but she was an honest, brave and smart girl, she was the oldest child in the orphanage, and she was already 18 years old. According to the rules, the orphanage only had to keep children up until the age of 16, but Judy was an exception. Because her grades were pretty good, the orphanage decided to let her continue her studies and allowed her to go to the high school in town. At this point, Judy had just graduated from high school and was just staying to help out around the orphanage. But what made her unhappy is that on the first Wednesday of every month she had to clean up the whole orphanage and take care of the Ninety-seven naughty little orphans, just like what Judy said in the novel, the first Wednesday in every month was a Perfectly Awful Day--a day to be awaited with dread, endured with courage and forgotten with haste. Every floor must be spotless, every chair dustless, and every bed without a wrinkle. Ninety-seven squirming little orphans must be scrubbed and combed and buttoned into freshly cloths; and all ninety-seven were reminded of their manners, and were told to say, “Yes, sir,” or “No, sir,” whenever a Trustee spoke. She must deal with all things well; otherwise she must to blame by Mrs. Lippett, the lady of orphanage, and Mrs. Lippett was known for her ill-temper and wordiness. Judy called this day “Blue Wednesday”, and she even wrote an essay entitled “Blue Wednesday” to complaint it, and what interesting is that her essay attracted a Trustee’s attention; it aroused his interest and curiosity, and he praised that Judy was a promising writer. Eventually he decided to send her to the college, hoping to educate Judy to become a writer.The kind-hearted man was one of Trustees of orphanage, the only impression he left Judy was that she could only get a good impression of him from the back. He was quite tall, and had long legs. He looked just like a big, dancing Daddy Longlegs that was calling for his ride home! Ever since that Judy called him Daddy-Long-Legs.  Judy could get into the college on the condition that she must write a letter per month to tell him exactly what is going on in her university, but she could not get any reply from him. During her four years in the university she had written in total of 84 letters to her dear Daddy-Long-Legs.Every letters were telling about Judy’s life, from reading the letters I can see that Judy is a really sunny soul girl, she was curious and exited about her brand new life,she was full of passion and enthusiasm, she was a strong-minded girl, whatever difficulty she encountered in her daily life, she could get over all of that bravely. Above all, she was grateful and honest to her beloved Daddy-Long-Legs; she worked very hard in order not to let him down.There some other characters in this novel, I want to make a comparison between them. I am going to mainly talk about two girls who were Judy’s friends, Sallie McBride and Julia Pendleton. Sallie has red hair and a turn-up nose and is quite friendly to Judy; Julia comes from one of the first families in New York, she is a proud girl and hasn't noticed Judy yet.I can easily see the contrast between Judy and her friends, both Sallie and Julia were from the wealthy family in big city, they both had parents to care them, but Judy was parentless, she grew up in the orphanage, and had never been to the city, and knew nothing about it, she always felt alone (we can see from her letters, she could regard Daddy-Long-Legs as her only relative); her friends, especially Julia could buy whatever she want ,and led a luxurious life ,while Judy was thrifty, and didn’t want to waste her Daddy-Long-Legs’s  money. Compared to her friends, Judy was more eager to gain the new knowledge and she was actively participated in various kinds of activities, and as an orphan she showed great sympathy to the poor people, she met a poor girl who was in trouble, Judy wanted Daddy-Long-Legs can help that girl as well.Master Jervie was one character in this novel, he treated Judy well, but nobody can image that Daddy-Long-Legs and Master Jervie was the same man actually. I want to contrast and compare the two men in this novel (although they are the same man), first of all, we all may have the same feeling with Judy about Daddy-Long-Legs. Daddy-Long-Legs is quite bald, or Daddy-Long-Legs is not bald, or Daddy-Long-Legs has white hair. He must be a kind-hearted and middle-aged man. While Master Jervie whom I see from the novel is such a handsome, charming and learned gentleman, her beloved Daddy-Long-Legs could not be with Judy, but Master Jervie visited her occasionally and accompanied her in the grange, it was him to make Judy’s life more wonderful and colorful.     This novel also reminded me of another famous novel ­­­——Jane Eyre, since both the main character of the two novels are female, and I kind of think that Judy and Jane have something in common, they are all parentless and grew up in the orphanage, they both have a painful childhood, but when they were 18 years old, they all left the place they hated, Judy got into the college and Jane became a tutor in the wealthy family. Their characteristics are diligent, optimistic and self-esteem, both them strived after the happiness for their life. They encountered and experienced various difficulties, and they all got over it, they really set a good example to our female, the two novels can give our girls motivation and encouragement, we really can benefit greatly from the two books.