Daddy-Long-Legs - First Letter
I'm still looking into Jean Webster's novel Daddy-Long-Legs (1912) and thinking about the eccentric trustee who demands a monthly letter from her in return for the money he gives to fund her studies. Her first letter from college is posted "24th September," and being a somewhat impertinent girl, she writes a somewhat impertinent letter, which I excerpt:
I wanted to write a letter first just to get acquainted . . . . [because it] seems queer to be writing letters to somebody you don't know . . . . Mrs. Lippett [told me] I must take care to be Very Respectful . . . [but] how can one be very respectful to a person who wishes to be called John Smith? Why couldn't you have picked out a name with a little personality? I might as well write letters to Dear Hitching-Post or Dear Clothes-Prop. . . . I must say, however, that when I think about you, my imagination has very little to work upon . . . . [but] I've decided to call you Dear Daddy-Long-Legs.Jerusha - or better, Judy - thus shows herself to be a handful, so if Mr. Smith expects to control her, he might find the process enervating, even futile.
But I bet he will try . . .
Labels: Literary Criticism