Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017281, Fri, 7 Nov 2008 13:26:30 -0500

Re: QUERY: Aunts and orphans, THANKS
Thanks to all for the responses below. I had thought of Jane Eyre and Tom
Sawyer, but I hadn't thought about David Copperfield, Vashtar, the Wiz of
Oz, or Pollyanna. I can now add that Tolstoy himself was an orphan and was
raised by his Aunt Alexandra. Also, the title character in Mary Shelley's
novella Mathilda is raised by her severe aunt after her mother dies and her
father abandons her. It might be interesting to think about why exactly VN
chose to make JS an orphan, and whether or not this fits with the way
orphans have traditionally functioned in literary narratives.

Many thanks,

>>> On 11/6/2008 at 8:26 PM, in message
<491352F702000012002EA7D7@dudley.holycross.edu>, NABOKV-L
Tom Sawyer was raised by his dead mother's sister, Aunt Polly.

Gavriel Shapiro [and Michael Donohue]

Sredni Vashtar, of course.

Carolyn Kunin

Just barely [September 1900] "Aunty Em, Aunty Em!"

Sandy Drescher

Jane Eyre was raised by her heartless Aunt Reed. David Copperfield is
adopted by his kind, eccentric aunt Betsy Trotwood and even renamed "Trot"
(an apt word for Pale Fire) in her honor. Also Pollyanna (1913) -- but
Jane, David, and Tom are probably the best examples.

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney

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