We know that the Cuthbert siblings, Matthew and Marilla, wanted to adopt a boy to help with the farm and they got Anne Shirley instead. It was Matthew who was first taken with Anne, telling Marilla that they ought to keep her. Matthew’s connection with Anne was sparked by some instinctive desire to keep this wide-eyed, talkative, wild child in his life.
Marilla, on the other hand, was more cautious and critical of the new presence in their lives. In my opinion, it was her moral conscience that tipped the scale in favor of letting Anne stay at Green Gables. She couldn’t bring herself to give Anne to Mrs. Blewett. She was eventually convinced that raising Anne was the right thing to do — perhaps her Christian duty.
Anne’s bringing up years was from 11 – 15 years old. By the time she went to Queen’s, she was quasi-independent and had been integrated into society. So for this post, I’ll focus on those years.
Marilla and Matthew had a deal: Anne can stay but Marilla will do the bringing up and Matthew shouldn’t put his oar in. Matthew assented, because he had a phlegmatic personality and it isn’t really in his nature to take charge. Continue reading