Friday, August 15, 2008

Anne of Green Gables discussion!!

I meant to post this last night but didn't get the chance--the Anne of Green Gables book discussion thread is now open! Post any and all comments on the first book here.

18 comments:

wordnerdy said...

I always forget just how awesome Anne is! One of the things I like about is is that she's no Pollyanna--she has a bad temper, is forgetful, and is always getting into trouble--but she wins over everyone anyway. This book has so many classic scenes and characters--Matthew is one of my all-time favorite literary archetypes, the shy and slightly gruff old man with a heart of gold.

And this book is really funny too--the scene where Diana gets drunk, the scene where Anne's playing the Lady of Shalott (or whoever) and her boat springs a leak . . . of course there's Gilbert to the rescue!

I also like that Anne wants to make something of herself--get an education and be a writer. Really inspiring!

Elizabeth said...

I actually felt disappointed in myself that I didn't like all of her "scope of imagination" stuff. I felt much more akin to Marilla than Anne, and that made me feel old. I can remember as a kid wanting to pretend to be imaginative, but I think I was always pretty non-creative.

I'm always shocked that I didn't remember so much. All of the comedic scenes were still a complete surprise. and I think I was thinking that some of the Emily plot lines were going to come in to this one. I guess it may be close to twenty years since I read it the last time.

(what book is it where the main character is harped on to have half moons on their nails??)

wordnerdy said...

Yeah, Marilla is a much more sympathetic character than I remember her being--it's nice that Montgomery shows her thoughts, so that even when she's being stern, we know how much she loves Anne and how much that has changed her.

I don't remember the half moon thing at all! But it's been a long time since I read anything by Montgomery. That reminds me I need to reread Blue Castle, one of my all-time faves.

christinamerge said...

The thing that I noticed most reading this again was all of the description of the places. I want the next ticket to PEI, please!

The descriptions of Anne as a person who brings a little joy to every life she touches always fascinate me. What a beautiful idea! It makes me love people more.

Also, her relationship with Diana - that scene where Diana says she loves Anne just kills me! The idea that a person could be so love starved that they have to invent friends just to have something to love is so heartbreaking.

Oh and I still want "glossy" and "ruddy" hair!

And, Alicia, I definitely agree about Matthew. My heart breaks every time. He is just the sweetest.

wordnerdy said...

I think Anne helps make everyhing more beautiful too, especially with her re-naming of all the landmarks, like Barry's pond becoming the Lake of Shining Glass (or whatever it was)! It just sounds a lot more pretty and poetic that way. :) (I totally feel where Anne is coming from.)

I also like that, despite her clearly not entirely pleasant upbringing, she's still basically an optimist and just enchanted with the world. (I also love how overly dramatic she gets when things go wrong, though, like when she dyes her hair green.) Anne is jsut a really funny and likable character--it's so nice to see her get to a place where she is loved and appreciated.

christinamerge said...

I don't know if any real girl could ignore a cute boy for 5 yrs, but I think it is an important part of Anne's character development. Like you pointed out, Alicia, she makes everything bigger than it needs to be which is a major part of her charm. She isn't afraid to be herself, and doesn't get punished for it like a lot of YA heroines, rather she is rewarded with loyal and loving friends. Gilbert is smitten by her for this reason, and Montgomery does a great job foreshadowing his future importance in her life.

wordnerdy said...

I have no problem believing that someone as stubborn as Anne could refuse to forgive a slight against her hated red hair for so long. :) Of course, towards the end we see that she sees how foolish she's being, a sign she's growing up, at least a little. I also like how competitive she gets with Gilbert and how it spurs her to be such a star student. I guess she's one of those characters who really does throw herself into everything with great passion, which includes her loves and her hates. (Hence all of her kindred spirits!)

Also, you're right--it totally rocks that Gilbert loves her b/c she's smart and has a crazy temper and is imaginative and funny--and not despite it!

christinamerge said...

Also, I love how no one can ever decide if Anne is pretty or not. I'd much rather have all of the adjectives used to describe Anne - starry-eyed, slender, shining, etc - than be pretty!

ahartsell said...

"She isn't afraid to be herself, and doesn't get punished for it like a lot of YA heroines, rather she is rewarded with loyal and loving friends."

Christinamerge, I think that really captures a big part of the charm for me!

I also love how competitive Anne gets with Gilbert. It's rather amazing considering when the book was written that she's shown to have that impulse.

I love the scene where's she falsely accused of taking Marilla's brooch, so she makes up this elaborate story about how she lost it. When the truth came out, I think Marilla was at a total lost how to deal with it.

Or when her baking gets ruined because she gets caught up in her daydreams. I swear I still let things burn sometimes because I'm daydreaming instead of paying attention : )

Not to brag (okay maybe a little), but I went to PEI on a family vacation when I was like twelve. It was really beautiful!

christinamerge said...

Oh I am jealous! I tried to get my husband to go to PEI on our honeymoon, but was unsuccessful. haha! Anne and Gilbert the musical wasn't a huge motivator for him!

wordnerdy said...

Christina--I'm not sure that would be a big motivator for me, either, and I'd love to see PEI! heh.

Arianne--I love the brooch scene too--Marilla finally realizes that Anne is a good girl, despite her faults--she's not a thief (and not normally a liar, but of course, ice cream was at stake!).

Kate said...

what can i say. you guys pretty much said it all. this was my first time reading anne of green gables and i could kick myself for thinking that it sounded boring, when i was younger. i mean, i really didn't want to read any old fashioned story unless it was a fairy tale. i also didn't like reading that much when i was younger. it felt like punishment rather than a fun way to relax. i have to admit that i was annoyed that i cried so much while reading the first book. that marilla, what a bitch.

wordnerdy said...

Aw, Marilla's just stern and has no idea how to raise a kid--especially one as imaginative and kind of flighty as Anne. I'm glad you liked the book though! What parts made you cry? (I cry at like half the scenes involving Matthew.)

Kate said...

i seriously cannot remember. i am going to have to get the book again from the library to discuss it. i read it right away after we first talked about it. then i read the 2nd one, which i didn't really love, but christina assures me the 3rd one is great, and her fave. i need to pick it up from the library. i am not very good at this discussion. ; )

Kate said...

oh, i also wanted to add that i love the term kindred spirits, and i love the idea that you can find people like this everywhere. i know this made me cry b/c i was like, YES! I agree! and it made me feel sorry for people that don't live as vividly as she does. also, i like the idea of setting the table and i really want to have lots of cakes when i have tea. this also made me appreciate butter and jam A LOT. i got a loaf of challah and every day would toast slices and put lots of butter and honey. MMM!

Jamie said...

I love this book so much and am so excited to share with all of you. One of my favorite moments is when Matthew goes to town to have a dress made for Anne- with puffy sleeves, of course! to think, this man, who is afriad of all women and had never really dealt with children, knew that sometimes a child, especially Anne, needed something so special to help heal te wounds of her broken childhood. Marilla supplied all the down-to-earth child rearing, but MAtthew was able to fulfill a dream for Anne!

christinamerge said...

Reading Anne of Green Gables now makes me remember all of the little things that adults did for me as a child and appreciate them more.

And - Kate - the kindred spirit thing always inspired me, too. I love that there are people out there who just fit in your life if you only take the time to watch out for them.

wordnerdy said...

Jamie--yes, that's one of the reasons I love Matthew so much too--he really loved spoiling her and buying her pretty things just to make her happy! The puff sleeved dress scene is one of the iconic moments in literature to me. Really.