Tag Archives: Anne of Green Gables

Dear Maud

Dear Maud,

I read that your friends and family called you “Maud.” Though I was born more than a century after you were, I consider you a friend and I daresay that you would have considered your readers as your kindred spirits.

I have just seen “Julie and Julia” for the 3rd time. You might wonder how this bit of information is relevant to you. Well, Julie Powell, inspired by Julia Child and her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, tackled 524 recipes in 365 days — blogging all the way to completion. While I may not know this for sure, I’d like to think that her project was fueled by love.

Dear Maud, I don’t care for reader count nor a higher page rank. I started this blog because I loved Anne Shirley and the world of Avonlea you’ve created. Anne of Green Gables was the first book that taught me to nurture the spirit of storytelling, imagination, and fancy. I just want to pay tribute to that and hopefully, share the joy.

Thanks to you and your books, I discovered that there could be a place in the world for a kid with a short temper, a loud mouth and a love for daydreaming. Thanks to you, becoming a writer became a very viable option for what to do with the rest of my life. And most of all, you have articulated for me feelings and thoughts I had about friendship, belonging-ness, and melancholy that I didn’t know how to express when I was a kid.

In short, all I want to say is that I am really grateful that you lived and that you wrote the Anne of Green Gables series. I am just one of the many girls whose hearts you’ve touched with your writing. I hope, with all my heart, you are at peace.

From a member of the race that knows Joseph,                                                                 Ilia

Modern Day Annes: Kate Middleton/Duchess of Cambridge

Photo from: REUTERS/Alastair Grant/Pool

Administering CPR to this blog post! I know that I haven’t blogged for this project since last year and that sucks. But with what better news to revive this blog than with a post about the news of England’s new princess loving Anne of Green Gables.

Apparently, Kate requested that they pass through Prince Edward Island on their Canada tour because of its association with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, as per an unnamed source (yeah, doesn’t sound that reliable but hey, Time reported this story).

Hmmm. With this news and her choice of McQueen (Sarah Burton-designed) wedding dress — I have to say, girl’s got taste!

Read more about Kate’s love for Anne here, here, and here.

A Mouthful of Anne: Quotes from Anne of Avonlea

I apologize for not posting for about two weeks. My bad. Our DSL connection was bust for a week and I lost my momentum.

Here are a few quotes from Anne of Avonlea which I just finished re-reading:

“It does people good to have to do things they don’t like… in moderation.” – Anne Shirley

“November is usually such a disagreeable month… as if the year had suddenly found out she was growing old and  could do nothing but weep and fret over it.” – Anne Shirley

“You’ll hardly fail completely in one day and there’s plenty more days coming.” – Marilla Cuthbert

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

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