Monday, June 11, 2012

The Purple Jar

This short story  by Maria Edgeworth was first published in 1796, and
was quite popular for many years.
Rose, in  Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins,  says in reference to this story:
"I always thought it very unfair in her mother not to warn the poor thing a little bit; and she was regularly mean when Rosamond asked for a bowl to put the purple stuff in, and she said, in such a provoking way, 'I did not agree to lend you a bowl, but I will, my dear.' Ugh! I always want to shake that hateful woman, though she was a moral mamma."
I agree with Rose!  How could Rosamond make a really prudent decision without
knowing what really made the jar "purple"?
Of course, if Rosamond had known, then we may not have had the element of surprise in the story!
As for the mother, was she really, as Rose called her, "a moral mamma"?  Is it moral to allow a seven-year-old to decide whether to get a pair of shoes, which she badly needs, or a pretty purple jar, which she does not need?
If this happened in real life, especially nowadays, can you imagine what people would say about Rosamond's mother?
However, in spite of these objections, I must say that I enjoy this story, as well as others about Rosamond.