Marilla and Matthew’s Parenting Styles: Which worked best?

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

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Modern Day Annes: Christina Hendricks

I am a big fan of AMC’s hit TV series, Mad Men. And one of my favorite characters in the show is Joan Holloway, played by the beautiful and curvy Christina Hendricks.

from LA Times Magazine feature (July 2010)

I like Christina Hendricks because 1. she’s really good at her job: acting, 2. She’s a redhead and redheads are generally interesting and 3. she has this curvy body that is to die for. She’s like pure woman! But why is she a modern day Anne Shirley? It turns out that Hendricks is a natural blonde and died her hair red because of Anne of Green Gables.

Here’s an excerpt of her Q&A with LA Times Magazine:

You’ve said you started dying your blond hair red at age 10. How exactly did you sell that choice to your folks?
They did it to me! I was obsessed with the Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables. I decided I was Anne of Green Gables. There was something that spoke to me about her, and I wanted to have her beautiful red hair. So my mother said, “Let’s just go to the drugstore and get one of those cover-the-gray rinses!” My hair was very blond at the time, but it went carrot red. And I was over the moon. I went to school the next day and felt like myself. And then I went back [to that color] over and over again. What a cool mom, right?

Read the whole interview and feature on Christina Hendricks here.

A Mouthful of Anne: Weekly dose of quotable quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Anne books:

“The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.” (from Anne of Green Gables)

“Everything that’s worth having is some trouble.” (From Anne of Avonlea)

“Being in love makes you a perfect slave.” (From Anne of the Island)

Do share some of your favorites 😀

Anne Shirley and orphans in fiction

*Note: I started writing this post as an attempt to capture my observation of the role of orphans in stories, I didn’t mean it to be this serious. Apologies for the sort of “academic” tone.

There have been numerous orphan protagonists in various works of literature. Besides Anne Shirley, we have Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, Harry Potter, the Baudelaire siblings, Dorothy Gale, Mary Lennox, Heidi, Huckleberry Finn, and Tarzan among others. Before I started writing and researching for this post, I never imagined there were that many fictional orphans. Why are orphans and their journeys interesting?

Caroline Myss writes of the archetype of the orphan child:

The Orphan Child is the major character in most well known children’s stories, including Little Orphan Annie, the Matchstick Girl, Bambi, the Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, and many more. The pattern in these stories is reflected in the lives of people who feel from birth as if they are not a part of their family, including the family psyche or tribal spirit. Yet precisely because orphans are not allowed into the family circle, they have to develop independence early in life. (Source)

In elementary school, we are taught that family is the basic unit of society. Orphans are defined as having lost one or both parents — rendering them without that basic form of community most of us possess at birth. Family is a child’s first source of belongingness and identity. Orphans, then, are the outsiders of society, left to make their own connections and circles in the world. In stories about orphans, our fears of being abandoned and left alone are drawn out.

While the lack of a family most often causes abandonment and neglect, orphans are in a special position to create their own identity and eventual “destiny.” As kids, we begin building our identities and our possible futures based on the lives of our parents and the opportunities available to them. Orphans like Anne Shirley can develop traits like imagination, sensitivity, resourcefulness, and survival skills earlier than most children would have, if they even ever did.  Continue reading

Modern Day Annes: From Lookbook

I like that somebody used fashion to allude to Anne of Green Gables. The outfit is like a modern take of the book’s paperback Bantam cover — complete with the hat and the carpet bag. Too bad the girl’s hair isn’t red.

Source: Lookbook

“Do things ever give you a thrill?”

I don’t remember how I felt when I read Anne of Green Gables. for the first time. I liked it, of course, but at 10 years old, I wasn’t yet plagued with the self awareness that I constantly live with now. And also, at that age, I would read just about anything for the sake of reading. I wish I could say that I remember being thrilled by Anne’s character. But at least I can say with all honesty that Anne Shirley is an irremovable part of my life.

The idea for this “project” came to mind as I was reading Laura Miller’s The Magician’s Book. Now a literary critic, she writes about her journey through The Chronicles of Narnia which she abandoned in her teens when she felt betrayed by its Christian themes. Later, as an adult, she comes to love Narnia again despite her disagreements with some themes and portrayals in the series.

Reading the book immediately posed the question, “If I were to write about a book that I absolutely loved as a child and as an adult, what would it be?” Anne of Green Gables was the only option. The series has a pervasive influence in all aspects of my life that, without it, I don’t think I would be who I am today.

With this blog project, I want to accomplish three primary things:

1. To give the best tribute within my writing powers to the eight books and the author (Lucy Maud Montgomery) who has been with me through childhood, puberty, and now adulthood.

2. To find kindred spirits out there who share my love for Anne Shirley and L.M. Montgomery.

3. To make myself regularly write about something that I truly love.

I hope that you’d keep me company. Who knows you might catch Anne’s spirit of imagination and fancy?