Anne of Green Gables: the classic novel of tragic turn-of-the-century orphan whose rosy outlook and outspoken tendencies pave the way for numerous endearing shenanigans. Anne is a character that changes the hearts and minds of everyone she touches just by being her honest, loving self, and because of that iconic quality Lucy Maud Montgomery’s series makes me smile.
You could say I’m a bit of an Anne-groupie: The movie is my holiday treat, Anne and Gil’s contentious friendship turned romance is wrought with Jane Austen-like plot twists, and of course, I make my students read the books too.
Over 100 years have passed since the book’s initial publication and yet Anne remains a staple in the literature world, a representation of childhood dreams and the power they hold well into adulthood. It is a story of love, loss, hope, sacrifice, risk, and above all, honesty.
- Making mistakes is a part of life; but if you make up your mind to learn from them, they can’t hold you back.“It’s so hard to get up again—although of course the harder it is the more satisfaction you have when you do get up, haven’t you?”
- People won’t always understand you, but that doesn’t mean you should conform to the ideals of unimaginative people.
- Kindred spirits can be found in very unexpected places, so give everyone a chance
- Imagination makes the world a better place, but unfortunately it is of no help at all when it comes to geometry.
- A plain or boring name does not define you: “That’s a lovely idea, Diana,’ said Anne enthusiastically. ‘Living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn’t beautiful to begin with…making it stand in people’s thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never think of it by itself.”
- When it comes to boys, set your standards high and don’t bother with those who don’t meet that standard: “Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn’t do to drag them into everything, does it?
- Octobers make the world a more beautiful place.
- Wearing pretty clothes makes it easier to be good, specifically, wearing puffed sleeves.
- No matter how dreary today looks, no matter how flawed we may feel, there is always hope in a new day. Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.
- Having ambitions and big goals can be tiring, but they are worth the sacrifice. One should never stop working diligently toward something.
- Literature not only opens different worlds to us, it helps us to see the world differently.
- One should be in no hurry to grow up whatsoever. “One can’t get over the habit of being a little girl all at once.”
- Always speak what is on your mind if it adds beauty to the conversation, “If a kiss could be seen I think it would look like a violet,’ said Priscilla. Anne glowed. ‘I’m so glad you spoke that thought, Priscilla, instead of just thinking it and keeping it to yourself. This world would be a much more interesting place…although it is very interesting, anyhow…if people spoke out their real thoughts.”
- It is better to live vulnerably, than to live in fear that your hopes may be dashed: “When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts…it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.”
- And finally, the lesson that possibly took Anne the longest to learn: true love doesn’t look like it does in day dreams, “Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps…perhaps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”