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Old 02-20-2020, 11:09 PM   #61
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It must have been the only acknowledgement of the cruel treatment to which the Acadians were subjected, and so would be highly valued for that reason if for no other.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:50 PM   #62
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I've finally finished Anne, and will go back and read through the comments in the morning. But a few remarks first.

I read Anne at some point long ago, and I believe I've conflated it with Pollyanna in my hazy recollections.

The shift from the slow-moving early part of the book to the drama of the last chapters seemed abrupt. Suddenly there were major life-changing events happening, instead of a string of funny episodes.

I didn't dislike Anne overall, but some of her flights of fancy got to be a bit much. She seemed younger than her stated age for much of the book.

I'm not surprised that this book didn't stick in my memory from childhood; I wouldn't have found much about her relatable--she wasn't a kindred spirit.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:12 AM   #63
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Catlady, the Disney version of Pollyanna (I've never read the book) was sitting around in my head a lot as I this book. There was something so teeth-itchingly wholesome about it all. (Before reading this I had just finished another book that was full of very sweet people, bar the only viable suspect, and I think it was all starting to get to me.)
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:08 AM   #64
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However, I think Longfellow’s ‘Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie’ will continue to be revered in these parts for a long time to come.
It’s good to think there’s an afterlife for old Henry Wadsworth! I’m afraid my own perspective is of those dreadful poems we had to read in school, the ones with metric schemes that made your molars ache and fatuous sentiments. Hiawatha, as mentioned above. Paul Revere’s Ride. The Village Blacksmith.

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I've finally finished Anne, and will go back and read through the comments in the morning. But a few remarks first.

I read Anne at some point long ago, and I believe I've conflated it with Pollyanna in my hazy recollections.

The shift from the slow-moving early part of the book to the drama of the last chapters seemed abrupt. Suddenly there were major life-changing events happening, instead of a string of funny episodes.

I didn't dislike Anne overall, but some of her flights of fancy got to be a bit much. She seemed younger than her stated age for much of the book.

I'm not surprised that this book didn't stick in my memory from childhood; I wouldn't have found much about her relatable--she wasn't a kindred spirit.
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Catlady, the Disney version of Pollyanna (I've never read the book) was sitting around in my head a lot as I this book. There was something so teeth-itchingly wholesome about it all. (Before reading this I had just finished another book that was full of very sweet people, bar the only viable suspect, and I think it was all starting to get to me.)
I thought of Pollyanna also with the obvious similarities, poor orphan sent away (to New England at that) to someone who didn’t want her (but was won over) and the pervading religious/moral overtones. But Anne is a relief in comparison, not so unredeemed a goody-goody. Catch Pollyanna cracking her slate over a boy’s head.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:23 AM   #65
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I did not pick up on the prejudice, other than in regard to the peddler who sold the hair dye. Nor did I get enough sense of place to explain why Anne-loving tourists have flocked to the area.

I didn't feel there was necessarily a disconnect between Anne's early upbringing and how she acted--the disconnect I saw was between her circumstances as an orphan going to a new place and her confident talkativeness. I guess that talkativeness could have been covering anxiety, but I didn't get that vibe. Her dismay at the prospect of being sent back didn't seem at all genuine--she'd been so over-the-top already that it seemed merely more of the same histrionics, and at least a little bit manipulative.

She was quite overpowering, forcing people to fit into whatever box she wanted them to inhabit. Except for Gilbert, did she ever allow anyone in her orbit to abandon the box she'd put them in, sometimes before she'd ever even met them?

When she acts nobly, even at the end when she decides to stay with Marilla, it feels as if she's doing it for the enjoyment of being the self-sacrificing heroine in her own melodrama, rather than because of real depth of character. (Contrast Jo selling her hair in Little Women.)

Re cracking the slate over Gilbert's head--sure, it's funny, but is it really meaningful? Anne acts because she's been insulted; I would like it better if her action had been in response to an insult to someone else, if she'd stood up for someone else. As it is, it's just another over-the-top reaction.

I did quite enjoy the fall off the roof--laughing out loud (extremely rare for me!) at this:

Quote:
“Anne, are you killed?” shrieked Diana, throwing herself on her knees beside her friend. “Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one word to me and tell me if you’re killed.”

To the immense relief of all the girls, and especially of Josie Pye, who, in spite of lack of imagination, had been seized with horrible visions of a future branded as the girl who was the cause of Anne Shirley’s early and tragic death, Anne sat dizzily up and answered uncertainly:

“No, Diana, I am not killed, but I think I am rendered unconscious.”
I think I like Pollyanna better, perhaps influenced by Hayley Mills in the Disney version. Or perhaps because Pollyanna seems to be so much more caring than Anne. I'm not inspired to read further in the Anne series.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:47 AM   #66
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I read Anne of Green Gables when I was around Anne's age and I think I reread it as an adult when I was reading the rest of the series. My recollection is that even at a young age some of Anne's antics in the first book made me cringe. I preferred the later books where she had grown up and calmed down a little.

A couple people upthread mentioned Davy and Dora in Anne of Avonlea. I thought those characters were brought in to give Anne and Marilla a taste of their own medicine. Anne had to be constantly chasing after Davy and dealing with his questions, while Marilla ended up thinking prim-and-proper Dora was rather dull.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:40 PM   #67
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I didn't feel there was necessarily a disconnect between Anne's early upbringing and how she acted--the disconnect I saw was between her circumstances as an orphan going to a new place and her confident talkativeness. I guess that talkativeness could have been covering anxiety, but I didn't get that vibe. Her dismay at the prospect of being sent back didn't seem at all genuine--she'd been so over-the-top already that it seemed merely more of the same histrionics, and at least a little bit manipulative.
It didn’t seem manipulative to me; what could she hope to gain? However, it did seem of a pattern with her apology to Mrs. Lynne; she might as well get what enjoyment out of the situation she could, by her extreme dramatics.

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She was quite overpowering, forcing people to fit into whatever box she wanted them to inhabit. Except for Gilbert, did she ever allow anyone in her orbit to abandon the box she'd put them in, sometimes before she'd ever even met them?
I think this is similar to my comment that Anne thought people were kindred spirits because they thought Anne was wonderful. It would have been good if, even just once, Anne liked someone who wasn’t interested in her. This actually speaks to Gilbert’s strength of character, since he liked Anne on her merits despite her eternal resentment.

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Re cracking the slate over Gilbert's head--sure, it's funny, but is it really meaningful? Anne acts because she's been insulted; I would like it better if her action had been in response to an insult to someone else, if she'd stood up for someone else. As it is, it's just another over-the-top reaction.
I think it’s important for two reasons. One, Anne is never crushed; she’ll lash back. I think Gilbert was asking for it, too. About time. Because, two: the more typical girl reaction was Diana’s enjoying having Gilbert tease her. Why should that be the norm? A boy teases and a girl has to take it.

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I think I like Pollyanna better, perhaps influenced by Hayley Mills.
I was a sucker for Hayley Mills in the day.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:43 PM   #68
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A couple people upthread mentioned Davy and Dora in Anne of Avonlea. I thought those characters were brought in to give Anne and Marilla a taste of their own medicine. Anne had to be constantly chasing after Davy and dealing with his questions, while Marilla ended up thinking prim-and-proper Dora was rather dull.
Oh, I like this insight! It gives me an appreciation for them that I totally lacked. They just bored me, and Davy every bit as much as Dora.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:00 PM   #69
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It didn’t seem manipulative to me; what could she hope to gain? However, it did seem of a pattern with her apology to Mrs. Lynne; she might as well get what enjoyment out of the situation she could, by her extreme dramatics.
While Anne's reactions to things were generally over the top and certainly not entirely believable (which doesn't particularly bother me) I think I enjoy other people's reactions to Anne the most, especially Marilla and Matthew.

I think the interaction between Anne and Mrs. Rachel Lynde was a great example of that. Anne's telling off of Mrs. Lynde really got to the heart of Anne's character, especially early, but Marilla's reaction to it was priceless.
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She was as angry with herself as with Anne, because, whenever she recalled Mrs. Rachel's dumbfounded countenance her lips twitched with amusement and she felt a most reprehensible desire to laugh.
Then Marilla's reaction to Anne's apology was wonderful as well.

I mentioned this thought of Matthew before but I still think it is a perfect description:
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Matthew, much to his own surprise, was enjoying himself. Like most quiet folks he liked talkative people when they were willing to do the talking themselves and did not expect him to keep up his end of it.
Then there's this quote from Diana's mother which could be something my wife would say about my eldest (and me):
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"This is my little girl Diana," said Mrs. Barry. "Diana, you might take Anne out into the garden and show her your flowers. It will be better for you than straining your eyes over that book. She reads entirely too much—" this to Marilla as the little girls went out—"and I can't prevent her, for her father aids and abets her. She's always poring over a book."
And yes, I aid and abet her.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:59 PM   #70
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It didn’t seem manipulative to me; what could she hope to gain? However, it did seem of a pattern with her apology to Mrs. Lynne; she might as well get what enjoyment out of the situation she could, by her extreme dramatics.
She didn't get sent back, so her show of despair certainly worked. Overall, her extreme dramatics tended to be amusing enough to the adults that they let her get away with just about everything. I think a case could be made that she knew that, at least on some level, which is why she kept repeating the behavior.

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I think this is similar to my comment that Anne thought people were kindred spirits because they thought Anne was wonderful. It would have been good if, even just once, Anne liked someone who wasn’t interested in her. This actually speaks to Gilbert’s strength of character, since he liked Anne on her merits despite her eternal resentment.
Similar, yes. But Anne didn't even need to know someone ahead of time--e.g., she decided Diana would be her BFF before they ever met; I agree that they stayed BFFs because Diana was willing to agree with Anne's assessment of herself as wonderful.

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I think it’s important for two reasons. One, Anne is never crushed; she’ll lash back. I think Gilbert was asking for it, too. About time. Because, two: the more typical girl reaction was Diana’s enjoying having Gilbert tease her. Why should that be the norm? A boy teases and a girl has to take it.
Except that Anne's extreme reaction and decision to hate him was also a typical girl reaction--vehement denial of her attraction to him. If she truly didn't care, his teasing wouldn't have provoked her to such an extent. It's hard for me to imagine that any little girl reading that scene wouldn't know that the two are destined for romance.

I also don't like girls getting a pass for behavior that would be unacceptable for boys--if a girl teased a boy and he broke a slate on her head, I'd consider him a nasty little monster, not a champion of downtrodden boys.

I'm probably sounding like I despise the character--I don't; I'm playing devil's advocate. But I think there's enough in the text to support an interpretation of Anne as insincere and manipulative, not unlike Rhoda Penmark (The Bad Seed). (I can just imagine myself in a lit class writing a paper on those two!) But maybe I just read too many psychological thrillers.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:00 PM   #71
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[...]
Then there's this quote from Diana's mother which could be something my wife would say about my eldest (and me):
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"This is my little girl Diana," said Mrs. Barry. "Diana, you might take Anne out into the garden and show her your flowers. It will be better for you than straining your eyes over that book. She reads entirely too much—" this to Marilla as the little girls went out—"and I can't prevent her, for her father aids and abets her. She's always poring over a book."
And yes, I aid and abet her.
I think it's already been pointed out, but the main problem I have with this scene is that it's the last time we see Diana as bookish. So either the scene is wishful thinking on the part of Mrs Barry, or the author changed her mind about what Diana was going to be like - and I'm inclined to believe the latter.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:08 PM   #72
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[...] I'm probably sounding like I despise the character--I don't; I'm playing devil's advocate. But I think there's enough in the text to support an interpretation of Anne as insincere and manipulative, not unlike Rhoda Penmark (The Bad Seed). (I can just imagine myself in a lit class writing a paper on those two!) But maybe I just read too many psychological thrillers.
I agree that there is considerable ambiguity in the character, and so your interpretation is there to be read. There is also the middle ground in which Anne is mostly sincere and is only unconsciously manipulative. Argument might be made that she found a winning formula and that became her habit.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:23 PM   #73
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I agree that there is considerable ambiguity in the character, and so your interpretation is there to be read. There is also the middle ground in which Anne is mostly sincere and is only unconsciously manipulative. Argument might be made that she found a winning formula and that became her habit.
I'm sure we're supposed to see her as charming and lovable; I think only people who enjoy being contrary would argue she's not.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:15 AM   #74
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I'm sure we're supposed to see her as charming and lovable; I think only people who enjoy being contrary would argue she's not.
Well, there is that.

But I'd have to add that a group that read Alias Grace must look askance at Anne and her reactions to her new life:
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“Oh, I AM grateful,” protested Anne. “But I’d be ever so much gratefuller if — if you’d made just one of them with puffed sleeves. Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now.”
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:39 AM   #75
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Good heavens you folks are harsh! Anne was manipulative because she admitted her disappointment about the ugly dresses? She was eleven years old. I think you’ve completely lost touch with your inner children!
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