I am participating at my own speed in this challenge. I started my re-read in March and will be on book five by the time this posts.
installment of Anne Shirley’s story is about her finding a home after years of
displacement. While we often consider ‘home’ to be synonymous with ‘house’,
it’s also a state of being. What does home mean for you and what makes it
A sanctuary, a haven, a safe place. A place in which my
family lives. Where there are limits to outside contact in order to have rest
and respite. Where there is little to fear.
Friendship is such a
huge theme in this book. There are many elements that make up a great bosom
friendship like Anne and Diana’s but if you had to pick three of those
elements, what would they be?
, and by
that I mean not merely that the friends do not break confidences, but that the
friends does not misinterpret or abuse words. Longevity
. Diana and Anne stay friends even though for a time their
circumstance were totally different; if a friendship cannot last, people should
not have been friends in the first place. Integrity
Diana and Anne do not destroy or attempt to destroy each other’s relationships
whether familial, friendly, or romantic. Indeed, Diana did try to persuade Anne
to mend her relationship with Gilbert, and I do not think Diana encouraged Anne
in her unforgiving attitude.
Of course, we love
Gilbert Blythe but the real sweetheart in the first book is Matthew Cuthbert.
What makes Matthew such a great father figure in Anne’s life? And (if you’ve
read the books before) what effect do you think his love and influence has in
the rest of Anne’s life?
Matthew, as Anne later says, is the first person in Anne’s
memory to love her. He listens and does not mock, criticize, or reprove her
often wild, imaginative speech. He is her source of encouragement and support
in both trouble and triumph. He is the real example to her ideals of the
treatment and raising of children.
Anne of Avonlea
introduces a cast of new characters including Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavender, Davy
& Dora, Paul Irving, and Charlotta the Fourth. Which new character(s) was
the most endearing to you? What do you like about them?
I like Mr. Harrison and Davy because they are hilarious each
in their own way. And they both force Anne to look at things via different
perspectives from her own.
Anne has such high
hopes and ideals when she sets out to teach Avonlea School. However, she’s in
for a few surprises. What do you think about expectations and ideals when
approaching a new situation? What do you think Anne discovered in this season
as a school teacher?
I think that Anne already had a knack with children. I feel
that she learned more from Davy and Dora than from this particular teaching experience. . .
except in the case of Anthony Pye. However, I do understand why she was so
upset when she explained that she punished him in anger.
What do you think of
Miss Lavender’s romance? Do you agree with Gilbert’s comment on what could have
I agree with Gilbert . . . and his double meaning/warning.
But still, I do NOT agree with Marilla’s rendering of it in prose; I do not
think either Mr. Irving or Miss Lavender were that pragmatic.
There are some great
conversations between Anne and Gil in this book. As much as I love the TV
series, some of the real essence of their friendship is lost in the film
adaptation. They were such buddies! Is there a scene in the book that you wish
hadn’t been left out of the film adaptation?
Well, all of them. The first proposal to begin the list. The
first proposal in the movies border lined on if not actually committed
plagiarism Laurie’s proposal from Little
(the novel). That film had other distinct plagiarisms from the
novels, one also with a Gilbert/Laurie parallel (two leading men who are not remotely
alike). Anne and Gilbert did
not bicker like Jo and Laurie; that sort of behavior was not like them at all. The
movies increasingly infuriate me as they progress.
The proposal. Ah! The
proposal! Tell me, which do you like better? The film version or the book
version? Mind you, I see Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie when I read the
books so I’m not talking about the acting but rather the scenes for their own
See above. I want to research that subject better. Anne and
Gilbert in the movies are little like the book characters.
Let’s talk about Roy
Gardener, the man straight out of Anne’s dreams. Give three reasons why he’s so
not the guy for her. And if you’d like, talk a bit about having a ‘dream man’
and whether or not we should hold out for them or eventually let them go.
He wasn’t the guy for her because half of what she thought
for and all of what she felt for him was imagined. Because he could not be the
understanding companion that Gilbert was
Because in reality Roy had little in
common with her. And as to having a “dream man,” well that depends on whether
we have high expectations (which is good, as long as we have them for our own
behavior/character/appearance) and unrealistic expectations (i.e. expecting
perfection or expecting low of ourselves and high of our men).
Christine Stewart. I
get that TV has to be written so that the plot moves along smoothly and all,
and I can respect that, but really? What do you think about what Sullivan did
in the movie as opposed to how Montgomery wrote Gil’s relationship with her?
Again, this goes back to the filmmakers’
misunderstanding/misrepresentation of Anne. Anne really loved Gilbert, and that
colored everything she understood about him and about Roy (she thought she
loved Roy; she was not settling), but she also undervalued him. She did not
understand that he loved her so deeply that he had not gotten over her or attempted
to compromise. That is why she thought the untrue of him, that he quickly lost
his feelings for her and became engaged to Christine. Sullivan merely chose to
go the conventional route involving compromising on both sides.
Labels: Book Reviews