Pollyanna: Spirit of Optimism Born Out of War (January 27, 2008)

NPR explored archetypes with its “In Character” series, and I collected audio and arranged interviews for Weekend Edition Sunday Host Liane Hansen. Then I edited and mixed the audio. I love radio production and pop culture, so this was a dream assignment. (Bonus: I got to talk to Hayley Mills!)

In Character: Pollyanna

“She was cute, she was cheerful, and she was famous for the creation of “the glad game.” But today Pollyanna her name is synonymous with optimism — to a fault.

Politicians and scholars alike attribute “the Pollyanna principle” to people who look on the bright side and hope for the best, no matter what.

Liane Hansen explores the roots of Pollyanna’s story — as written by Eleanor Porter in 1913, as brought to life by Hayley Mills in the 1960s Disney movie, and as analyzed by psychologists and economists — to see whether this sweetheart’s spirit has any place in real life.”


About gumshuz

I'm a writer and journalist living in Wyoming. Audio is my passion. My reporting has aired on Naitonal Public Radio, Wyoming Public Radio, BBC/PRI, APM and WAMU. My writing has been published in The News Leader, the Daily News-Record and The Star-Ledger. I deal in Americana and the human condition.
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