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Anne of Green Gables
Friends, ‘the road to knowledge begins with the turn of the page’, someone says and indeed true it is. The whole world, it’s mysteries and secrets, it’s thrills and tingles, it’s joy and prosperity all can be uncovered once we embark on a pleasant or shall I say, once we embark on the most happening journey that is leafing through the pages of a book.
I have had this really exciting experience many times in the past and will continue to do so in future because this is one journey you wouldn’t one to return from, ever. Many a time, I cried at the end of some book, sometimes I put them back with satisfaction but mostly I feel longing and desire for the book not to end once it does. One of such books which left a tang of nostalgia was Anne of Green Gables in which was created the adorable and unforgettable Anne Shirley.
Anne of Green Gables, this touching story about the coming of age of a sweet little girl, was written by a famous Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942). She came about the idea of writing this novel when she discovered a piece of paper in which she had written in her tender age, a story about a couple wanting an orphan boy but ending up with a girl. L M Montgomery used the picture of a famous painters’ model, Evelyn Nesbit, as the model for her central character, Anne. Though L M Montgomery has written a number of books in her lifetime, Anne of Green Gables remains her masterpiece.
Friends, as the story goes, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, middle-aged siblings, who live on a farm called Green Gables in Avonlea, on Prince Edwards Island, decide to adopt a boy orphan to help them with their farm work. But when Matthew returns with the expected “boy” orphan, Marilla discovers the error that changed their lives forever. The mistake comes in the form of a precocious, red-headed, 11 year-old girl whose imagination and sense of independence leads to many of the mishaps which made the experience of reading this novel and unforgettable one.
Anne of Green gables tells the story of Anne Shirley, a high-spirited young girl, whose sunny nature and quirky imagination wins her the affection of the people around her and have an astonishing effect on them.
Anne’s feisty spirit soon draws many friends and of course, trouble her way. Not a day goes by without a melodramatic episode in the tragicomedy of her life! As the story progresses, Anne makes friends and begins her suppose enmity with Gilbert Blythe, who had called her carrots for her red hair.
From dying her hair green to nearly drowning herself trying to act out a poem, Anne does it all!!! But a time comes when the talkative, free-spirited 11 year-old turns into a somewhat responsible 16 year-old. By the end of the story, Matthew dies of a heart attack But the loss of dear Matthew was replenished by the gain of Gilbert’s friendship. Thus the story ends being somewhat sorrowful and triumphant at the same time.
But Anne’s life doesn’t end here. L M Montgomery’s first book published in 1908 was a resounding success and was followed by a number of sequels namely-Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Willows alias Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside and finally Rilla of Ingleside. But for me and the millions of her fans scattered all over the world, Anne of Green Gables will remain our favourite.
I feel that this was one of those exceptional books which leave a nostalgic tang once the story is finished. I laughed, cried, saw, heard with Anne and shared her dreams too. It was as if I had amalgamated with her as she ascended the steps of age and was conscious of her every sentiment. The author describes the characters, their feelings and the surroundings so vividly that it transported me to that very world and I felt as if I was Anne and her world was mine. Another reason why I liked this book was because the author describes the characters with their faults. Many a time, the protagonists are shown as lily-white characters but here Anne is shown with her faults which are her imagination which sometimes takes a dangerous bent and her high sense of independence which may be regarded as immoral. But the one reason which made me want to share my views on this book with you is because this novel follows the growing-up, the formation of an 11 year-old girl with wild fantasies into a 16 year-old girl with a sense of responsibility and service. Girls like me can connect themselves with Anne as I did when I read this book. This book can be termed as a ‘bildungsroman’ in a true sense. ‘Bildungsroman’ is a word which is used to describe a piece of writing which relates the tale of the growing-up or the formation period of a girl or a boy.
This is one book which made me ponder event though there were no mysteries, it made me nostalgic even though I’ve still not passed my school life, it made me reflect even though there were no startling discoveries or truth, it created Anne Shirley…
I recommend this book as a must for all booklovers, especially girls like me. This is one book you should not miss. As for me, I’m still pondering over what is there to ponder about in this book. Till I find an answer, I will conclude my article with these quoted words of Amy Lowell.
“For books are more than books. They are the life, the very heart and core of the ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.”