Thursday, January 14, 2010

Top 10 Reasons I Like Anne of Green Gables

Let's talk some Anne, shall we? After all, she IS my favorite character by L.M. Montgomery and I haven't really mentioned her around these parts in awhile. Yet, I don't think I've ever really explained why I like Anne so much and I'm not even sure that I can. But I'll give it a go and drag you along for the ride.

Top Ten Reasons I like Anne of Green Gables:

1. She is self disciplined. Touted as being a mischievous, clumsy sort of girl who always falls into scrapes, you don't normally think "disciplined" when you think of Anne. But I'll remind you that she worked very hard to adjust her behavior to suit Marilla's expectations of her. Secondly, she worked excessively hard to remain the top student in her class.

2. She is well-liked. Despite being really good at everything she put her hand and mind to, she ultimately loved people and was lovable in return. She never comes across as snooty or arrogant. She just is who she is. She admits her faults, takes delight in her successes, and is genuine through and through.

3. She dislikes going over bridges, just like I do.

"Oh, here we are at the bridge. I'm going to shut my eyes tight. I'm always afraid of going over bridges. I can't help imagining that perhaps, just as we get to the middle, they'll crumble up just like a jackknife and nip us. So I shut my eyes. But I always have to open them for all when I think we're getting near the middle. Because, you see, if the bridge did crumple up I'd want to see it crumple." (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 2)

4. She knows herself very well. She may seem wildly unpredictable to others, but she is no mystery to herself. She confesses that there are many different Annes inside of her which could seem complicated, but if she were any other way she wouldn't be half as interesting. She knows how easy it is for herself to grow wild with delight and she has to monitor her own excitement levels as a result.

"What's the matter now?" demanded Marilla.

"I don't dare go out," said Anne, in a tone of a martyr relinquishing all earthly joys. "If I go out there and get acquainted with all those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook I'll not be able to help loving it. It's hard enough now, so I won't make it any harder." (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 4)

5. Nothing shakes her loyalty to her friends. Nothing whatsoever. Devotion is what she is all about.

6. She is passionate about the things she truly believes (and makes herself believe). From the 'iron entering her soul' against Gilbert Blythe to the creation of the Haunted Wood - she feels and she cares. I so love that.

7. When she first started learning how to cook, she was a dismal failure (as I was). She even left the flour of the cake! I also find this kind of ironic because the best cooks (in my opinion) are the ones that do not play by all the rules and cook to taste and enjoy. In other words, imagination can carry one cook further than another. However, admittedly, you do need flour to have cake!

8. Beauty takes her breath away. She is constantly in a state of utter, complete and total 'enrapturement' (if she can make up words for herself, so can I!) whenever she sees something that she thinks is beautiful. The beauty of nature, specifically, is not lost on her. I grew up in South Texas which, pardon me if you find that to be a pleasant place, I thought it was hideously ugly. Sun-scorched lands just don't do it for me! I dreamed of visiting and living places that were GREEN when I was growing up - all curled up in my air conditioned room, reading Anne of Green Gables, escaping the 100+ degree weather outside my window. Ugh! (I love Oregon. I love waking up and seeing trees - green trees! - all over the place. I love the crisp and the cool!) That's one (of a few actually) of my Anne Dreams that came true for me!

9. She's a "first impressions" sort of girl. She reads people well and can tell if they will make good companions or not. She has a discerning spirit where people are concerned. Of course, there are some surprises for her along the way (ah hem, Gilbert) but most of the time, she can find her friends in life circumstances fairly quickly.

10. She's IMAGINATIVE!!!!!!!!!! I think imagination can make or break a person. It certain determines how interesting they are. Imagination gives birth to dreams which in turn gives birth to actions. More on this later when I talk about Read for the Heart. But for now let me just say that Anne's imagination and what she dreams could be (or should be) is what carries this whole series of books. Some people don't like Anne because she isn't very "real" (like, say, Emily is). Anne is said to be "too much" of a dreamer and "too" peppy. She IS excessive but her imagination and dreams bring her to life. She did live in depressing circumstances at times. When Marilla asked for her history, she didn't want to give it. Her response? She asked if she could tell Marilla what she imagined about herself instead. If I were to put it another way - I'd say she didn't want to be branded by her circumstances. She longed to see herself as she believed God did (red hair aside). We all want that in our own ways, we just communicate it differently.

For my part, I appreciate Anne's zest for life. I appreciate the fact that she dreams beyond the circumstances she finds herself in. In a way, I suppose you could say that that is how she coped with life and its hardships. Except she's not just putting on a brave or false face. She lives with hope. THAT is what I connect with. I connect with the hope, the faith, the believing side of Anne.

I DO read Anne for my heart. I feel inspired and encouraged when I read Anne of Green Gables (which I am doing right now, btw). She makes me happy because she reminds me that God has a great future and a great hope for myself. If there was a theme for me as I read these books, it might be Romans 8:28 - knowing that God is working all things together for my good and according to His great(er) purposes.

I love Anne and I'll be happy to re-read her my whole life long. She is so enjoyable to me. I love her for a lot of reasons but here are ten to chew on for now.

What about you? Is there a reason you love/hate Anne over any others? Is this L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge prompting you to read Anne for the first time? I can't wait to hear your thoughts and I hope you'll choose to share them! Leave a comment below if you would and let me know where you stand with this particular girl.


Suey said...

What a wonderful post! I love Anne for all the reasons you've mentioned. I really love the love story too. It's been much much too long since I've read these books. Sigh. But to fit in a re-read... not sure it's going to happen anytime soon.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Wow! That's a great list, Carrie! :-)

Annette W. said...

Perfect post on our wonderful Anne!

Melissa said...

Wonderful list. I'm reading Anne right now, too. She's just apologized to Rachel Lynde. Love this book!

Barbara H. said...

Yes, I love these things about her, too. And I totally see #1. She's said a couple of times that though she makes many mistakes, she doesn't usually make the same mistake twice. She does learn from them.

I also like that she's willing to take in other people's criticisms even though she might not agree at first. I've just finished a section where Miss Stacey helped her improve her compositions, the one place where her flights of fancy could have free rein, yet she did as her teacher said and saw the difference afterward. She was critiqued a lot when she first came to Green Gables, yet she took it graciously and thoughtfully even if she disagreed, and tried to make the suggested improvements.

Dana said...

Anne of Green Gables was probably one of my favorite books growing up (I still have the entire series in a box set lying around somewhere), and I agree completely with your reasons for loving her as a character.

Pippi said...

Fantastic! Anne is good for the heart. Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite passages.

Framed said...

You've just reminded me why I'm committed to re-reading the whole Anne series again for the umpteenth time. I just need to find the time. Anee truly is one of literature's great characters.

Sandra Stiles said...

I loved anne of Green Gables. I have sadly never read the books but saw the wonderful TV shows. Now it is time I read the books.

Anna said...

Loved this post! And I absolutely loved the Anne of Green Gables series. I didn't discover Anne until I was in high school, and I'm getting ready to share these books with my daughter.

Diary of an Eccentric

Janet said...

I nodded my way through this post. I've never really thought about why I love Anne, but I agree with all your reasons here.

CĂ­ntia Mara said...

This book looks so beautiful! A have to read so soon.

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