Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” changed our Pessimistic views to optimistic visions

Although it looks like funny and childish, this book and its “The Glad Game” or an optimistic attitude has helped million of people including myself especially when we feel the pressure, tension, depression or despair.

Actually that Glad Game helped me to count the blessings of Allah/God.

The game could change our Pessimistic views to optimistic visions.

We even could able to see the silver lining of the dark clouds and the blessings (from Allah/God) in disguised.



Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children’s literature. The book was such a success that Porter soon produced a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up (1915). Eleven more Pollyannasequels, known as “Glad Books”, were later published, most of them written by Elizabeth Borton or Harriet Lummis Smith. Further sequels followed; the most recent, Pollyanna Plays the Game by Colleen L. Reece, was published in 1997.

Pollyanna has been adapted for film several times. Some of the best-known include Disney’s 1960 version starring child actress Hayley Mills, who won a special Oscar for the role, and the 1920 version starring Mary Pickford. The most recent incarnation of a Pollyanna character is Poppy, the main character in the 2008 Mike Leigh film Happy-Go-Lucky

Plot summaryThe title character is Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphanwho goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game”, an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna’s father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because “we don’t need ’em!”.

With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality and sincere, sympathetic soul, Pollyanna brings so much gladness to her aunt’s dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant place to live. ‘The Glad Game’ shields her from her aunt’s stern attitude: when Aunt Polly puts her in a stuffy attic room without carpets or pictures, she exults at the beautiful view from the high window; when she tries to “punish” her niece for being late to dinner by sentencing her to a meal of bread and milk in the kitchen with the servant, Nancy, Pollyanna thanks her rapturously because she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy.

Soon, Pollyanna teaches some of Beldingsville’s most troubled inhabitants to ‘play the game’ as well, from a querulous invalid named Mrs. Snow to a miserly bachelor, Mr. Pendleton, who lives all alone in a cluttered mansion. Aunt Polly, too— finding herself helpless before Pollyanna’s buoyant refusal to be downcast—gradually begins to thaw, although she resists the glad game longer than anyone else.

Eventually, however, even Pollyanna’s robust optimism is put to the test when she is struck down by a motorcar while crossing a street and loses the use of her legs. At first she doesn’t realize the seriousness of her situation, but her spirits plummet when she accidentally overhears an eminent specialist say that she’ll never walk again. After that, she lies in bed, unable to find anything to be glad about. Then the townspeople begin calling at Aunt Polly’s house, eager to let Pollyanna know how much her encouragement has improved their lives; and Pollyanna decides she can still be glad that she had legs. The novel ends with Aunt Polly marrying her former lover Dr. Chilton and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where she learns to walk again and is able to appreciate the use of her legs far more as a result of being temporarily disabled.

Eleanor H. Porter: Pollyanna

Table of Contents

Pollyanna:Polly Harrington’s day is filled with duty. Her worthless sister has died and left an orphan to be supported. Polly’s neice, Pollyanna, arrives to the small town and small changes happen immediately. Polly’s servants are more chipper. The sick in the town are feeling better. Even the miser, John Pendleton, is uttering pleasant words. What mysterious power does little Pollyanna have over the town-folk? What dark secrets are hidden in Mr. Pendleton and Aunt Polly’s past, and what will happen to the town if Pollyanna were injured? (Fiction, 1913, 195 pages)

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“When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it.”

Although a quote similar to this was attributed to Lincoln and inserted by the director into the 1960 Disney movie version of the story, it is actually, as written here, from the original book and not attributed.

The novel’s success brought the term “Pollyanna” (along with the adjective “pollyannaish” and the noun “Pollyannaism”) into the language to describe someone who seems always to be able to find something to be “glad” about no matter what circumstances arise.

The word “pollyanna” may also denote a holiday gift exchange more typically known as Secret Santa. This term is used in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania. It can instead mean a gift exchange rotation in which several families each give gifts to one other family in the “pollyanna” each year. This is often done when siblings in a large family begin to have children of their own.[1]

Pollyanna is still available in reprint editions. At the height of her popularity, Pollyanna was known as “The Glad Girl”, and Parker Brothers even created The Glad Game, a board game based on both the book and the character. The Glad Game, a type of Parcheesi, was made and sold from 1915 to 1967 in various versions, including: “Pollyanna – The Glad Game”; “Pollyanna – The Great Home Game”; “Pollyanna – Dixie”; and “Pollyanna”. The board game was later licensed by Milton Bradley but has been discontinued for many years.

“Glad Clubs” appear to have been popular for a while; however, it is questionable if they were ever more than a publicity gimmick. The Glad Clubs may have been simply a means to popularise the use of The Glad Game as a method for coping with the vicissitudes of life—loss, disappointment, and distress.[citation needed] Nevertheless, at least one “glad club” exists today, in Denver, Colorado.[2]

In 2002, the citizens of Littleton, New Hampshire unveiled a bronze statue in honour of Eleanor H. Porter, one of the town’s most famous residents. The statue depicts a smiling Pollyanna, arms flung wide in greeting. Littleton also hosts a festival known as “The Official Pollyanna Glad Day” every summer.[3]

The vocalized version of the song “Pollyanna (I Believe In You)” for the video game Mothercharacterizes a cheerful girl that believes in fairy tales and optimism, but disregards any comments towards her sanity. The name of the girl is told in the lyric “You can call me Pollyanna/Say I’m crazy as a loon.” The name of the song, and that of the girl in the song, is most likely a direct characterization of Porter’s character. Another theory is that the name is based on the names Paula, a character in Mother 2 (EarthBound in the US version) and Ana, a character in the original Mother game, though both theories could be true.

List of Pollyanna books

Glad Books

  • Porter, Eleanor H.
    • Pollyanna: The First Glad Book
    • Pollyanna Grows Up: The Second Glad Book
  • Smith, Harriet Lummis
    • Pollyanna of the Orange Blossoms: The Third Glad Book
    • Pollyanna’s Jewels: The Fourth Glad Book
    • Pollyanna’s Debt of Honor: The Fifth Glad Book
    • Pollyanna’s Western Adventure: The Sixth Glad Book
  • Borton, Elizabeth
    • Pollyanna in Hollywood: The Seventh Glad Book
    • Pollyanna’s Castle in Mexico: The Eighth Glad Book
    • Pollyanna’s Door to Happiness: The Ninth Glad Book
    • Pollyanna’s Golden Horseshoe: The Tenth Glad Book
    • Pollyanna and the Secret Mission: The Fourteenth Glad Book [written out of sequence]
  • Chalmers, Margaret Piper
    • Pollyanna’s Protegee: The Eleventh Glad Book
  • Moffitt, Virginia May
    • Pollyanna at Six Star Ranch: The Twelfth Glad Book
    • Pollyanna of Magic Valley: The Thirteenth Glad Book

Further sequels


Film, TV, or theatrical adaptations

Pollyanna has been filmed several times. Notable adaptations have been a silent version, starring Mary Pickford, and a Walt Disney film released in 1960 starring English actress Hayley Millsin the title role (which made her a Hollywood star and led to a Disney contract). The 1960 film was shot at the McDonald Mansion (aka Mableton Mansion) on McDonald Avenue in what was then the small town of Santa Rosa, California. It was directed by David Swift.

There have also been several TV adaptations of the novel. The most recent, originally broadcast in 2003 on ITV, starred Georgina Terry as Pollyanna and Amanda Burton as Aunt Polly. It aired on ITV3 on March 22, 2009 as part of the Mothers Day Movies. It was confirmed at the end of the broadcast that a DVD had been released and was available to buy from the ITV Website and in stores. Nippon Animation of Japan released Ai Shoujo Pollyanna Monogatari (The Story of Pollyanna, Girl of Love), a fifty-one episode anime TV series that made up the 1986 installment of the studio’s World Masterpiece Theater, and had famous singer Mitsuko Horie playing the role of Pollyanna. There was also a modernized version with an African-American cast entitled Polly, which later had a sequel (Polly: Coming Home)

1960 film

Main article: Pollyanna (1960 film)

The 1960 film was a major hit for the Disney Studios, and gave a tremendous boost to the career of Hayley Mills. It also marked the last film appearance of noted Hollywood actor Adolphe Menjou, who played the hermit-like Mr. Pendergast, who is eventually brought out of his shell by Pollyanna and her friend Jimmy.

The film was only somewhat faithful to the novel. One marked difference from the book (and the 1920 silent version with Mary Pickford) was the treatment of Pollyanna’s accident. Originally, she is paralysed when she is hit by a car, while in the Disney film, the accident occurs because she is sneaking home from a local festival she has been forbidden to attend, and falls when she tries to re-enter her room by climbing the tree outside her bedroom window. The characters have been altered; in the book Aunt Polly does not run the town and is hardly as ruthless or controlling. The town in the movie is named “Harrington”, but in the book is called “Beldingsville”. The idea of the orphanage and the bazaar with Dr. Chilton and the townsfolk opposing the charity of the rich are creations of the movie directors and have nothing to do with the novel. This movie has Jimmy Bean in a far bigger role than the book does. Mr. Pentergast is Mr. Pendleton in the book, and has a whole other subplot and relationship with Pollyanna to go along with him. Additionally, the ending has been altered slightly; it is never made clear whether or not she is able to walk again (unlike the original book, the film never had a sequel).

1973 serial

The BBC produced a six-part TV serial in 1973. This was run on the Sunday tea-time slot, where they often ran fairly faithful adaptations of classic novels aimed at a family audience.

1989 film

Main article: Polly (TV)

Disney’s 1989 Made-for-tv musical adaption, originally airing on The Disney Channel (before it began airing commercials). It was followed by a sequel: “Polly: Coming Home”.

2003 film

There was a 2003 ITV TV film version of Pollyanna starring Amanda Burton as Aunt Polly and Georgina Terryas Pollyanna. This version is very faithful to the book, with one or two minor differences that do not affect the accuracy of the plot. It uses the original characterizations and storylines, but takes place in the English countryside rather than Vermont (only the scenery and accents show this, and the town is still called Beldingsville). Like the book, it ends with Aunt Polly and Dr. Chilton married and Pollyanna walking, but the scene is the actual wedding with Pollyanna back for a visit rather than a letter as in the book.

Further reading

  • Keith, Lois. Take Up Thy Bed and Walk: Death, Disability and Cure in Classic Fiction for Girls.Routledge: 2001.


  1. ^ Michael Quinion. “POLLYANNA“. World Wide Words (Michael Quinion). Archived from the original on 2009January 25. http://www.webcitation.org/5e5PFqdqd. Retrieved 2009January 25. 
  2. ^ (Glad club home page)
  3. ^ 2 (Littleton’s Pollyanna Glad Days)

External links

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2 Responses to “Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” changed our Pessimistic views to optimistic visions”

  1. bisuteria Says:

    collares swarovski…

    […]Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” changed our Pessimistic views to optimistic visions « Dr Ko Ko Gyi’s Blog[…]…

  2. Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    စိတ်နေစိတ်ထား နဲ့ ပျော်ရွှင်မှု
    မျက်မမြင်များက ပြောကြတယ်
    မြင်နိုင်ခြင်းဟာ အကြီးမားဆုံး ဘဝပျော်ရွှင်မှု
    သူဆင်းရဲများက ပြောကြတယ်
    ပိုက်ဆံရှိခြင်းဟာ အကြီးမားဆုံးသော ဘဝပျော်ရွှင်မှု
    သူတောင်းစားများက ပြောကြတယ်
    ထ္မင်းနပ်မှန်အောင် စားရရင် အကြီးမားဆုံးသော ဘဝပျော်ရွှင်မှု
    အသဲအသန် ဖြစ်နေတဲ့လူနာများက ပြောကြတယ်
    အသက်ရှင်နိုင်ခြင်းကိုက အကြီးမားဆုံး ပျော်ရွှင်မှု
    မသန်စွမ်းသူများက ပြောကြတယ်
    ပုံမှန်သွားလာနိုင်ခြင်းဟာ အကြီးမားဆုံးသော ဘဝပျော်ရွှင်မှု
    သူတို့ တတွေအလိုပြည့်ပြီးတဲ့ နောက်ပိုင်းမှာ
    သူတို့ အကြာကြီး မပျော်ရွှင်လိုက်ကြပါ
    ရှိပြီးသားဟာထက် ပိုပို လိုချင်လာလို့ ဖြစ်တယ်
    ဘ၀ ပျော်ရွှင်မှု အစစ်ဆိုတာ ဘာလဲ ?
    ပျော်ရွှင်မှု ဆိုတာ
    စိတ်နေစိတ်ထား တစ်မျိုးဖြစ်သလို
    ပီတိကျေနပ်မှုတစ်မျိုးလည်း ဖြစ်ပါတယ်
    ထိုးထွင်းသိမြင်မှု တစ်မျိုးဖြစ်သလို
    လေဒဏ်မိုးဒဏ် ကြားက စိတ်ငြိမ်သက်မှု တစ်မျိုးလည်း ဖြစ်ပါတယ်
    ဘ၀ အတွေ့အကြုံ အနယ်ထိုင်မှု တစ်မျိုးလည်း ဖြစ်ပါတယ်
    သေချာတာ တခုကတော့
    ပျော်ရွှင်မှု စိတ်ထားပိုင်ဆိုင်သူများဟာ
    ဘာမဆို အကောင်းဘက်ကနေ မြင်တတ်သူများဖြစ်ကြတယ်
    ရလဒ်ကောင်းကို အမြဲမျော်လင့်ပြီး
    ရှာကြံပြီး ကျေးဇူးတင်တတ်သူများဖြစ်ကြပါတယ်
    ဘ၀လည်း မေမ့သူများဖြစ်ကြပါတယ်
    တောင့်တမှု နည်းပါးပြီး
    ရောင့်ရဲနိုင်သူများ ဖြစ်ကြပါတယ်
    စိတ်နေစိတ်ထားကောင်း တစ်ခု
    ပိုင်ဆိုင်ရင် ပျော်ရွှင်မှု ပိုင်ဆိုင်သွားမှာပါ…။
    credit. ..
    (ဆေး – မန်း)

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