Anne of Green Gables
Mind over Matter. As cliché as this statement sounds, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables proves the idea to be true. Throughout the novel, Anne continually uses her imagination to help her persevere through difficult situations. This novel also highlights the importance and power one’s attitude has in shaping the outcome of a situation or event, and carries a powerful message that people control their own happiness. Numerous times, Anne, the protagonist, is faced with less than ideal circumstances, but she is determined to have an optimistic attitude and make the best of each situation. As a result of this positive determination, the outcome is always in Anne’s favor.
Anne Shirley is an eleven year-old orphan who lived in the early 1900s, in very poor conditions in several foster homes and then an orphan asylum, yet maintained a bright outlook on life. While in the foster homes where she was treated as a servant, and then in the orphan asylum, Anne used her imagination to get her through daily life. She developed imaginary friends who she talked to about her hopes, fears, and dreams for the future. According to Anne, these friendships were, “the comfort and consolation of my life” (Montgomery 58). Anne’s imagination was her survival instinct enabling her to persevere through the trials of being orphaned early in life. Explaining her history, Anne stated, “It was a very lonely place, I am sure I never could have lived there if I hadn’t an imagination” (40). While reflecting on her own experience, Anne remarked that a child with less imagination than herself would not have survived her circumstances.
After a traumatic experience early in her life in two, cheerless foster homes, and then an orphan asylum, Anne is adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, and taken to live at Green Gables, only to face more disappointment. Green Gables is a place Anne always dreamed of living, and, as soon as it seems all her dreams are finally coming true, the adoption turns out to be a mistake. Marilla and Matthew had intended to adopt a boy to help them on the farm because they were getting older. However, through some mix-up they were given a girl instead. When Anne arrives at the place of her dreams, only to find out it has been a mistake and that she will be sent back, she once again relies on the power of her own mind to get her through her difficult situation. She decides that even if she were sent back to the asylum, she would keep Green Gables always in her mind and be optimistic about her situation.
Luckily Matthew falls in love with Anne the first time he picked her up at the train station, and Marilla falls for her shortly after because of her liveliness and imagination. Their house had been dull, but Anne, with her overactive imagination, brings life back to Green Gables. For example, Marilla questions her about her history, and Anne would rather tell a history that she imagined for herself rather than the truth...