It’s a known fact that Mizuki, the author of Candy Candy, was inspired by Daddy-Long-Legs, an epistolary novel published in 1912 by Jean Webster. If you haven’t yet read this book, you might want to skip this post. However, if you don’t mind reading spoilers, then please read on. 😉
Daddy-Long-Legs mainly consists of letters from the orphan in her late teens, Judy Abbott, to her mysterious benefactor, whom she nicknamed Daddy-Long-Legs or just Daddy. Those who have read parts of Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), especially Candy’s letters to Albert in the epilogue, might find Judy’s last letter to her Daddy (also her first love letter to her fiancé) interestingly familiar. 🙄 😛 Therefore, I’m planning to discuss the parallels between them in more than one post. 🙂
First and foremost, when a reader reads Judy’s last letter, the word “Daddy” is everywhere, almost whenever she referred to her benefactor (now fiancé). Do you think the reader will jump to conclusions, saying that Judy didn’t really love him? 😉
Why or why not? 🙄
Well, Judy wasn’t sure if she should still call him “Daddy” or simply “Jervie”. The main reason? She didn’t want to be disrespectful to him.
Nevertheless, no doubt Judy loved her “Daddy”, the man who had financially supported her through college. The evidence is scattered throughout her letter. For example, Judy couldn’t wait to see him again, she was thrilled that she belonged to him, and so on.
Similarly, in one of Candy’s letters to Albert, she asked him if she should call him “father”. Regrettably, some readers blindly take this out of context, claiming that this is the “proof” that Albert was a father figure to Candy. 😮
To me, these people can’t be more wrong. 🙁 When something happened in a story, one is supposed to understand the reasons behind it, considering the events before and after.
In this case, why did Candy ask this “father” question all of a sudden in a letter to Albert?
Note that before Albert made his important confession to Candy on Pony’s Hill, revealing that it was his badge that she had kept all these years, it’s unclear how much time had elapsed since she had discovered that he was actually the all powerful family patriarch. We just know that by the time Candy wrote this letter, she was fully aware that Albert was Prince on the Hill, her first love. Not only that, he had just given her presents after presents for her birthday, and she had been deeply moved by his thoughtfulness and efforts. Therefore, she wrote this long letter to thank him, listing all the nitty-gritty details, and she sounded extremely happy and excited, well, until near the end when she complained that he was too busy for her. 🙁
Come to think of it, not long after his confession on the hill, possibly only weeks, she had explicitly asked him for a present because her birthday was coming up. She had honestly requested his holiday as her present, so he could come to the Pony’s Home and spend lots of time with her, talking to her. She had meant it wholeheartedly I believe, and she even cast a spell on her prince. 😉
In his subsequent reply however, he explained with regrets that he was too preoccupied with work to take a holiday, but for her birthday he had invited everyone from the orphanage to come to Chicago. Archie, Annie and Patty would celebrate with Candy too.
I bet Candy accepted this invitation with high expectation. Unfortunately, Albert had to leave in the middle of her birthday party. Her friends were there for her, together with Miss Pony, Sister Lane and all the kids, but Candy observed that Albert seemed very busy, and she hadn’t had much time to talk with him. (CCFS Vol 2, p. 308)
Literally, this means that “I could only speak a little with Albert-san”, implying dissatisfaction. After complaining that she couldn’t talk much with him, she grumbled that her spell hadn’t had much effect on him. I believe she brought up her spell again to remind her prince of her original birthday wish. 😉
To me, her longing for him was palpable. Even though he had already given her many presents before leaving for work, she had probably wished he could spend more time with her, alone, now that she had come all the way to Chicago.
Isn’t it obvious that all Candy really wanted was Albert himself and his company? 😉 Ever experienced the sense of loneliness, despite being surrounded by many people, when the person you truly want is not there with you? 🙄 I can easily imagine this is what happened to Candy and how her eyes had followed Albert everywhere during her birthday party. 😛
If you’re not convinced, Candy continued writing that she was worried about Albert’s health (just like Judy Abbott in the aforementioned letter), and she dreaded that he might suffer amnesia again. Then she wrote she remembered the uneasy but peaceful days in the House of Magnolia. Both their wallets had been empty, but they had been happy… (CCFS Vol 2, pp. 308 – 309)
Do you know sometimes Japanese people tend not to finish a sentence? Just like Candy here. It’s like they intentionally want to be vague and let people imagine what the rest of the sentence is. 😛 Regardless, Candy definitely said she had been happy back then, even though she and Albert had been penniless. Why? Because they had had each other, and she had been content! 🙂 Sigh… Once again, Candy implied she missed Albert’s companionship. ❤❤❤
Now, back to this letter. Candy continued to write that on one hand she wished Albert would recover from amnesia, but on the other hand she also thought it wasn’t bad at all to live with him as brother and sister. Then she dropped a bomb next, saying that now it turned out that she was his adopted daughter!
And she didn’t stop here. She added,
So she was asking, “Actually, do I have to call you ‘father’!?”
I’ve already explained before that 父上さま is one form of honorific for fathers, especially used in samurai families in ancient times. In other words, people rarely use it nowadays. Moreover, Candy appended かも (kamo) to the end of her question, meaning to soften the tone. To rephrase Candy’s question, she was asking, “Actually, do I have to call you ‘father’ (maybe not)!?”
Note that it’s a very colloquial way to finish a sentence with かも (kamo). Thus, Candy was essentially teasing Albert. 😉 I’ll continue in Part 2 because this post is already too long. 😛 Thank you for reading till the end! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😀 🙂