Book Nostlagia: Black Beauty
By Guest Blogger on August 2nd, 2012
This week, Katia goes back in time with Black Beauty!
Flipping to the first page of your first favorite book is one of the most exciting and fulfilling memories as a child — at least that’s the case for me, when Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty captured my imagination with her tale told through the eyes of a horse. I re-read the book and, from cover to cover, this story made me reflect on the life lessons I’ve learned throughout my childhood.
The story follows the life of Black Beauty, a stallion raised with his mother at Farmer Grey’s Farm. Through his perspective, Black Beauty encountered kindness, cruelty, and carelessness among his many owners. However, following his mother’s advice to ‘Always be good so people will love you. Always work hard and do your best,’ Black Beauty was able to persevere through hard work and, although injured, he was able to finally find a good home.
After revisiting Black Beauty:
It seems Black Beauty’s story still resonates with most readers, especially those who are animal activists. Anna Sewell provides a glimpse into the world of animals and shows that, like humans, these beings are entitled to love and compassion. With animal cruelty prevalent throughout the world, this story provides an account for those silent voices still yet to be heard.
As I read each chapter, I realized just how meaningful and historically important this tale has been for many children. I quickly made my way through the book, not even glancing at the clock as I finally understood the meaning behind Black Beauty’s words: the smallest of kindnesses are appreciated even in the most simple of acts. Black Beauty’s appreciation was felt by his owners through his actions. One of my favorite scenes in the novel was at the end as Black Beauty, being sold to Farmer Thoroughgood, recounted his life, saying “there were others I would have willingly used the last of my strength in serving; poor and shabby, but kind and human, with voices that I could trust.” Reflecting on this note, I look back at the experiences I have had with my own pets and how willingly they have been to show me their gratitude.
Black Beauty is a timeless classic that pulls readers emotionally into the love they feel together for themselves and others. A highly recommended read, this tale finds the value in friendship and compassion.
Have you re-read Black Beauty recently? Maybe it’s time you do! And let us know, which other books do you want to revisit?
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