Friday, October 2, 2015

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables
© 1908 Lucy Maude Montgomery          
299 pages

 "Anne, are you killed?" shrieked Diana, throwing herself on her knees beside her friend. "Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one word to me and tell me if you're killed.""No, Diana, I am not killed, but I think I am rendered unconscious.""Where?" sobbed Carrie Sloane. "Oh, where, Anne?

  Anne of Green Gables is chicken noodle soup bound in paper, the heartwarming story of a imaginative girl growing up on the Canadian frontier. Anne is every reader’s ideal companion; she is one of us.  Anne is not content to read good stories; hers is a boundless imagination  that makes the ordinary spectacular;  she names trees,  sees roads to Camelot in humble dirt lanes, and can convert anything into a sweeping story.  She is the embodiment of childish wonder and delight, who is rendered rapturous at the thought of learning about something new, or embarking on an adventure with a friend.  Though orphaned at an early age – she has no memory of her parents, and is adopted by a childless pair of siblings at the novel’s start – Anne’s imagination gives her access to a boundless well of enthusiasm. Although she crashes from misfortune to disaster, she never loses and hope and always gains a bit of character from the experience. Anne’s imagination is not limited to creating stories for she and her friends to act out (Tom Sawyer would be an interesting neighbor for her; what would happen if the rafts they set out on chanced to meet, and Anne’s Arthurian romance collided with Tim’s pirate ship?). Her head is filled with the language of books, and when she reacts she reveals a vocabulary filled gloriously with pomp.  It’s almost a disappointment when she becomes more level-headed assuming the responsibilities of adulthood, but all stories have their proper ending. For Anne, that usually involves hugs, tears, and speeches.   Green Gables is glorious fun;  I wish I’d paid more attention when watching the play in third grade, but I was fairly smitten by the  actress. 

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