Study Guide

Anne of Green Gables Genre

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Romanticism; Realism; Comedy; Coming-of-Age

Take one coming-of-age story, add a combo platter of romanticism and realism, plus a few teaspoons of additional comedy, and you've got Anne of Green Gables.

Anne's a romantic through and through—she loves reading the poetry of Romanticism by writers like Tennyson, and her relationship with nature is both spiritual and loving. But when set against the realism of day-to-day life and the no-nonsense mindset of all the other townsfolk of Avonlea… poof: you've got comedy. Marilla and Matthew (and most people in town) are the straight men to Anne's clown, and their dry responses to Anne's fanciful speeches provide the hilarity of this novel.

But of course, this story isn't just a comedy. It's mainly the story of how Anne grows up. Anne's tragic background is all too real to the time period—the fate of many orphan children in 19th Century Canada. And the tender moments in the novel change both Anne and the people who raise her.

By the end of the book, we see a very different Anne: an educated, accomplished adult who puts love first (remember, at the end she turns down a great job offer to stay with Marilla and save Green Gables). She's totally transformed by her earlier, growing-up episodes, which is what coming-of-age stories are all about.

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