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Miss Minchin is a dominant character - she is ruthless and calculating, probably because she is insecure herself,relying on the school for her livelihood. She shows little understanding of children or child development, choosing to blame Sara for her family's misfortunes. She keeps Sara on in the school but never lets her forget she is now a second-rate citizen and beholden.
Lavinia is related to Sara's character through association as fellow pupil, not friend.She resents Sara and the attention she gets and is bitter,jealous and envious.
Becky relates to Sara through shared misfortune. To begin with Sara was the superior of a servant whose family was dependent on her menial work in the school. Sara gets to know her more on an equal footing through her own demotion.
Maybe Frances Hodgson Burnett was better able to put herself in Becky shoes because of her own upbringing in a rich part of a poor neighborhood:
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