“Well, I suppose I must finish up my lessons. I won’t allow myself to open that new book Jane lent me until I’m through. But it’s a terrible temptation, Matthew. Even when I turn my back on it I can see it there just as plain. Jane said she cried herself sick over it. I love a book that makes me cry. But I think I’ll carry that book into the sitting room and lock it in the jam closet and give you the key. And you must not give it to me, Matthew, until my lessons are done, not even if I implore you on bended knees. It’s all very well to say resist temptation, but it’s ever so much easier to resist it if you can’t get the key.”
Photo CC – by Herry Lawford
I love Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I love the entire Anne series. I can’t tell you which book is my favorite, because each has its own charms.
Anne, with an e, Shirley is an orphan girl that is mistakenly sent to a spinster woman and her bachelor brother who are looking to adopt a boy to help run the farm. The book is set in the late 1800s on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are shocked when this girl is sent in place of the boy, but they decide to keep her.
Anne is a skinny, freckled, redhead. She uses big words, had a bigger imagination, and gets into “scrapes” constantly. The dream of her life is to have a dress with puffed sleeves, a home, and a “bosom friend” which she finds in her neighbor, Diana Barry.
Anne hates her carrot colored hair, so she purchases hair dye off a peddler that is guaranteed to turn it a “beautiful raven black.” Instead, Anne’s hair is coppery green streaked with red. It is permanent, so she has to have all her hair sheared off.
Anne is allowed to invite Diana to tea where they get to drink cherry cordial. Instead, Anne gives Diana red currant wine and makes Diana drunk.
In school, Anne meets Gilbert Blythe who becomes her enemy because he calls her carrots. She reacts by cracking a slate over his head and as a consequence is forced to sit with Gilbert. She drops out of school from the humiliation of having to sit with a boy. The pictures below are from Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, and show Anne and Gilbert.
Photo CC – by norika21
Good things happen too. Anne’s vivacity brings joy to the people around her. Over the course of the two years the book spans, Anne grows up into a young woman that is funny, sensitive, and ambitious. Marilla and Matthew are glad they kept her. Anne eventually gets a dress with puffed sleeves, gets to sleep in a spare bedroom, and at the end of the book becomes friends with Gilbert Blythe.
This book is defiantly a classic. It is also light reading, which is not always the case with classic literature. There is little deep thinking required, and although L. M. Montgomery has spread some pearls of wisdom through the pages, one does not need to work too hard to find them. The themes in Anne of Green Gables revolve around friendship, family relationships in a not so traditional family, and personal growth.
I chose this book for this past week’s independent learning project because I was in the car traveling across Wyoming to the state spelling bee. I wanted something that I could enjoy between the textbook readings I had to do in the car as well. I can identify with Anne’s need to lock up a good book when studying needs to get done. I had to hide this book away in the bottom of my suitcase, which was in the back of the minivan, just so I would get some studying done along the way!
I apologize for this post being a day late, but we got home late Sunday evening since we visited with some “bosom friends” of our own after the Bee. I did not feel that I could post on this book and do it justice at the last minute.
The spelling bee was great, and there are some really smart kids out there. Though my son did not win, he studied hard and held his own. We are really proud of the good job he did! Congratulations to the winners of the Wyoming State Spelling Bee, and good luck in Washington D.C.!