Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anne of Avonlea discussion!

Post your thoughts on Anne of Avonlea here!


wordnerdy said...

So this one might not have as many iconic moments as AoGG, but it's still a great read. Anne learning how to be a teacher (though the fact that she has to ultimately smack a kid to get his respect is pretty problematic) at the ripe age of sixteen and a half . . . Dora and Davy, who I'd entirely forgotten . . . and I love the narrative voice in this one! Making fun of Marilla's pronouns, making Davey so lovable and yet so mischievous (and Marilla even notes that though Anne gt into trouble as a child, she always had the best intentions) . . . not forgetting Matthew (I like that they mention Anne visiitng his grave, since he was so important to her). And of course, the Miss Lavendar romantic subplot, which is so obvious if you know to look for it. :) And all the other romance! Diana falls for Fred, Anne starts to look at Gilbert in a new way . . . it's enough to make a reader swoon!

Of course, Anne isn't a grownup yet. She does still manage to dye her nose red. Hee.

christinamerge said...

The Miss Lavendar and Paul plots are definitely the best thing about this book, I think. I love Davy's "I want to know" all the time, too.

And, of course, Mr. Harrison. That parrot cracks me up!

Charlotta the Fourth is so fun to picture, don't you think? With all of those bows!

The unquenchable romantic in me loves every single matchmaking story LM Montgomery has ever written, and she has written a gajillion!

wordnerdy said...

Yeah, one think I really like about these books is that they depict adult/elderly romances with as much excitement as the young ones! Mr Harrison and his wife are pretty hilarious. This book is just really funny in a lot of ways--all of the characters (like Charlotte the Fourth!) are so silly--but not in a mean way. They're all totally lovable!

christinamerge said...

Diana is so adorable in this book, too. Talking about how pudgy she and Fred will be. Montgomery does a great job of showing how all of these things leads to Anne's maturity. The final paragraphs about "turning the page of womanhood" are really beautiful.

ahartsell said...

I love too how L.M.Montgomery "depicts adult/elderly romances with as much excitement as the young ones." Some of her short story collections have some lovely stories like that.

Am I the only one who finds Davy and Dora kind of annoying? It always felt a little contrived to me, like we need some cute kids to replace Anne now that she's a teenager. Not that Davy's questions aren't cute.

I love Paul Irving though. I always liked the rock people. I always picture them in claymation in my head.

ahartsell said...

Reading about Anne teaching reminded me of the first time I taught a class. It made reading this book a different experience for me. I am always disappointed when she has to whip that kid, especially because she admits she did more out of anger than because of a change in her ideals. But still I sympathized with how the reality of teaching can change your ideals a bit. I remember not wanting to have quizzes on the books I assigned. I just wanted them to read the books because they were great books and so we could have good discussions. But unfortunately sometimes you have to have a pop quiz...

I love the relationship between Marilla and Anne in this book. They still don't always understand each other, but there's so much respect and affection for each other. And the scene where Marilla tells Anne she can go to college always makes me cry a bit. It's such a wonderful moment of women supporting and taking care of each other, with Marilla giving Mrs. Lynda a place to live and wanting what's best for Anne. Love it.

I do love that Anne still does silly stuff like dye her nose. I love how these books are so sweet and beautiful, and yet they make you laugh out loud.

wordnerdy said...

I always feel a little bad for Dora. Even LM Montgomery seems to think she's really boring! I'm not sure she ever really speaks in this book--she just helps bake and sits quietly or whatever. I do like how Montgomery displays such a variety of kinds of children--dreamy Anne, sensible Diana, troublesome Davy, good little Dora, imaginative Paul, and all the other students . . . it's like she really pays attention. They're not all some cookie-cutter kind of kid.

christinamerge said...

Your point about the women and their love and support of each other with or without a clear understanding of motive is great! I never looked at it from that angle, but that is a major theme.

The way Anne can poke fun at Diana, and Diana can secretly wonder at Anne's ramblings but they are still lifelong friends who would do anything for each other is another example of that point.

Marilla's character development is so subtle and sweet. I always get a little ache in the back of my throat when I read about her, because of all those wasted years before Anne came along. All of that love and humor just lying in wait.

I also see what you mean about Davy and Dora, but they do add to the long list of adorable Avonlea characters Anne comes across. Also, I think Montgomery probably felt bad for leaving Marilla and Mrs. Lynde all alone together without youth and fun after they had enjoyed Anne so much. I would have felt guilty if I were her!

ahartsell said...

Wordnerdy, I totally agree about how the kids aren't all cookie-cutter. I mean if she didn't have so many other cool girl characters, I would be really annoyed at the depiction of Dora. She's such a stereotypical "good girl." I too feel a little sorry for her. I would actually have liked to have seen a little of her interior life, though maybe she really is just as dull as she seems.

Yeah, the friendship with Diana is so interesting. It always felt realistic to me, even if they often have completely different approaches to life. I know I've had friends over the years with completely different personalities from my own.