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Written by Polly Barbour
Pippi's Behavior as an Allegory
The way in which Pippi behaves and lives from day to day is actually allegorical of the way in which most children would like to be allowed to live. There are no rules other than the ones she imposes on herself. There are no mandatory dress codes, school days, homework or prescribed ways in which things should be done. Pippi lives a life of total spontaneity which is an Allegory of how children think they all should live.
Pippi's Behavior as a Symbol
Pippi's Behavior is actually a symbol of behaviors exhibited by children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She has poor concentration and barely any impulse control and although she has great intentions and makes considerable effort to behave she is seen as naughty or the kid who just won't fit in, all of which symbolizes the characteristics of a child with ADHD.
Kids Getting the Better of Adults Motif
One of the motifs that repeats the most in the book is the motif of Pippi getting the better of the adults who try to "tame" her and this begins to extend to the other children in the book as well. She outwits the police and so manages to be allowed to stay in the Villa alone. She outwits the burglars and not only keeps her money but prevents them from burglarizing anyone else. She is given instructions at school but manages to turn the lessons around so that they are more entertaining to her. Each time an adult tries to control her she outwits them and manages to stay typically Pippi.
Although Pippi has a life of willfullness and doing whatever role she wants she is actually lonely and the motif of loneliness appears throughout the book. She clearly misses her father which is to be expected but she also misses the company of the other people at sea with them and talks of them often. She also wants to spend every day with Annika and Tommy which again demonstrates her loneliness. She also tries to make every she meets into an instant confidante which is another reason for her acing as a hostes rather than as a victim when the burglars break in.
Sailing the High Seas Motif
Pippi's adventures on the high seas are a Motif and in almost every chapter she is telling someone the story of her travels. Her home reflects the voyages she has been on as does her love of vibrant color and varied art. Her "family" - her monkey and her horse- are also companions brought home from a voyage. With every outlandish tale Pippi references the High Seas Voyages and the book even ends with another reference to it as Pippi wants to be a pirate when she grows up.
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