As the years pass by in Avonlea, Anne mellows out. Gone is the impulsive chatter and running through the woods imagining maiden funerals and naming every tree or flower that caught her fancy. Anne now sits quietly gazing out the window, dreaming and keeping her thoughts to herself. She has made mistakes, struggled with disappointment and humiliation. She’s not the little orphan with nothing but spirit and heart waiting at the train station. She’s a young woman who has grown up.
“It’s nicer to think dear, pretty thoughts and keep them in one’s heart, like treasures. I don’t like to have them laughed at or wondered over. And somehow I don’t want to use big words any more. It’s almost a pity, isn’t it, now that I’m really growing big enough to say them if I did want to. It’s fun to be almost grown up in some ways, but it’s not the kind of fun I expected, Marilla. There’s so much to learn and do and think that there isn’t time for big words.”
Anne of Green Gables doesn’t hit us over the head with any hard facts about life and nothing serious happens in the story other than we lose sweet, old Matthew Cuthbert. Yet we eat up Anne’s story like it’s a cupcake. We are enraptured with the small, quiet joys of Anne’s life: finding both a home and a place in the world, loving and being loved by others. I think we can all agree that growing up is bittersweet, but Anne does it with enviable grace. I cringe when I look back at my own adolescence even though it made me who I am today (a normal human bean, right guys?). Oy, but if only I could have handled my messes with the same class as Anne!
What life lessons did you indentify with in Anne of Green Gables? Let’s make this a poll and you can add any comments below.