Monday, October 27, 2014

Anne Shirley--Anne of Green Gables

"Will you please call me Cordelia?"
Anne Shirley, one of the most well known characters in fiction. A fiery red head with an enormous imagination, a mouth that runs nonstop, and a penchant for getting herself into scrapes. I've loved Anne of Green Gables for I don't even know how long. I've read the entire series multiple times, and never seem to tire of it. Anne is just such an interesting character. It does help that I'm a lot like her...

Anne is an orphan. She wants a family, she wants raven black hair, and a bosom friend. When she finds out she is to be adopted, it seems too good to be true. And, in a way, it sort of is. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert intended to adopt a boy, but they got Anne instead. Though at first they didn't want to keep her, soon they can't imagine life without her.

Anne loves life. She loves beautiful things, like The Lake of Shining Waters and The White Way of Delight. She has a rich and fancy vocabulary that she uses frequently as it seems practically impossible for her to keep her tongue still for any length of time. Diana Barry is a kindred spirit. They become bosom friends immediately, though troubles come when Anne accidentally "sets Diana drunk" by giving her currant wine instead of raspberry cordial by mistake.

For Anne makes a lot of mistakes. Like the time she dyed her hair green, the liniment cake, the mouse in the pudding, the unfortunate lily maid. And there are times where her pride got her into trouble, like when Josie Pye dared her to walk the Barry's ridgepole and she fell off. Though I'm not sure even that compares to the time she broke her slate over Gilbert Blythe's head after he called her "carrots" and then refused to speak to him for five years...considering she eventually married him. Many of Anne's mistakes are due to her imagination taking over from reality. Some scrapes are due to her hot temper. I have had more than my share of mistakes and forgetfulness from distraction by imagination, and my temper certainly got me in lots of trouble when I was little.

Anne is smart, and her competitive nature makes her fight to best Gilbert Blythe when they are at Queen's together. And at Redmond. Because Anne's adventures don't end where Anne of Green Gables does. Even when she is older she gets herself into scrapes, like the time she sold the neighbor's cow. Eventually (it takes until book three) Anne realizes she loves Gilbert, and begins a new chapter of her life, one that is followed by the rest of this classic series.

L. M. Montgomery is an amazing author. She creates such memorable and well-rounded characters, living among realistic people with all manner of quirks and peculiarities. Anne is not a character one can forget. That bright, imaginative, and dramatic redhead will forever be an inhabitant of my imagination.


  1. I have always loved Anne's story. Yet recently I've been reading Anne of Green Gables again with an eye for Montgomery's flare for setting description. She has an amazing talent for painting a picture. I'm thinking that by reading it, it will bleed out into my writing. =)

    1. L. M. Montgomery was an amazing author. There is a lot that can be learned from reading her books.


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