Pippi Longstocking is a children's empowerment fantasy. Pippi possesses three qualities most children lack: freedom, strength, and money. No adults have authority over Pippi, no parents, no school teachers, even the police are only a source of amusement. Adults can normally dominate children through size and strength, but Pippi is not only as strong as any adult, her strength is on a Popeye level. Children are of course dependent on adults for money but Pippi has stacks of gold coins laying around that she can't even count. With her money, strength, and freedom Pippi can be act in any way she pleases and disrespect any pompous adult. She lives every child's dream of complete freedom from adult authority.
The most disturbing element of the story is how closely it parallels Lucy Clifford's horrific fairy tale "The New Mother". Tommy and Annika's first encounter with Pippi is almost a mirror image of Blue-Eyes and Turkey's first meeting with the strange girl who leads them into disaster, right down to the odd conversational double-talk. I fully expected Tommy and Annika's parents to announce at the end of the book that they had to go away forever because of their children's bad behavior and a monstrous new mother was coming with glass eyes and a wooden tail. The main difference is that while Lindgren's stories are light-hearted tales of freedom and empowerment Clifford's are demented Victorian morality fables in which punishments vastly out weigh crimes.
For those who haven't read Clifford the text of "The New Mother" can be found here: