What Is A "Pollyanna" View Of Life?


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Will Martin answered
Even until quite recently, this term was often used to describe someone who was, perhaps foolishly, very optimistic. It comes from American author Eleanor H Porter's 1913 novel of the same name, which was a bestseller for many years. Pollyanna is an orphan, sent to live with her stern and humourless Aunt Polly. It turns out that Pollyanna was taught by her father to find a bright side to every situation; they played what they called "the Glad Game" a kind of competition to see who could find the most to be glad about. Aunt Polly's grim Puritanism is no match for her niece's unrelenting cheerfulness, and she soon grows to love the girl like a daughter. Pollyanna even manages to help arrange a marriage between her aunt and a long-rejected suitor. There was also a sequel, "Pollyanna Grows Up," but many readers felt (as one character in the book actually says) that Pollyanna playing the Glad Game at twenty was rather too much.) Nevertheless the first book retained its popularity for many years, spawning a TV series and even a board "Glad Game."

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