Friday, September 21, 2012

Black Beauty

by Anna Sewell

We have no right to distress any of God’s creatures without a very good reason; we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.

In her classic novel for children, Ms. Sewell gives words to a horse named Beauty. In short, Beauty’s life is defined by his owners’ treatment of him, both good and bad. Thankfully, there is a happy ending.

Unfortunately, this is a very dull and tedious novel. Nothing happens. Since the main character is a horse, the reader really has no one with whom he/she can identify. It is difficult to believe that this novel is considered to be a classic. Published in 1877, it is little more than Sewell’s attempt to encourage more humane treatment of horses. I cannot imagine a child actually enjoying this novel, not even my horse-loving nephew.



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