Study Guide

Anne of Green Gables Names

Advertisement - Guide continues below


Juliet might be of the opinion that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but Anne is exactly the kind of girl who would refuse to call a rose anything but a "petaled orb of gracious gorgeousness."

In short: Anne wants to re-name everything. Well, almost everything. She thinks the name of her new home, Green Gables, in Avonlea, is good to go. But she wants to rename everything else, from her own name to the names of beautiful places in town. Her obsession with language comes from reading a lot of books, and it's about wanting the names of places to reflect how beautiful they look.

We have to hand it to her; her place names are more evocative than the originals. Some highlights:

  • She re-names The Avenue "The White Way of Delight" (2.55)
  • Barry's Pond = "The Lake of Shining Waters" (2.58)
  • An area in Mr. Bell's Woods is named "Violet Vale" (15.7)

Anne doesn't stop at places. As for her own name, she'd like a re-do, please: "Cordelia" would make her feel more beautiful. If others (*cough Marilla cough*) refuse to humor her and call her by a different name, the "e" at the end of her own name becomes very important to her:

"It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can't you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished." (3.24)

When Anne hears a word, she sees the printed word in her mind, as if she's reading her whole life. No wonder words are so important to her.

Anne keeps her place-names throughout the story, and the narrator adapts them too. And why not? The names remind readers of Anne's big imagination, inject an extra dose of magic and wonder into the story, and point out what is important to our young leading lady.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...