Study Guide

Anne of Green Gables Tone

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Amused, Sympathetic

You can tell that the author has as much fun with Anne's antics as some of the characters do. Remember when Marilla figures out that Anne gave Diana wine instead of raspberry cordial? When she brings Anne the bottle, "Her face was twitching in spite of herself" (16.47).

Marilla has the urge to laugh…just like the author probably did when she was writing this scene.

But when it comes to Anne's feelings, the author gets it. She refuses to let Anne be a simple comic character, and often shows us that Anne's feeling are real. When Anne approaches Josephine Barry to apologize, she's described as "a white-faced girl whose great eyes were brimmed up with a mixture of desperate courage and shrinking terror" (19.78).

Anne really is afraid to apologize, and she's being brave. She's definitely more than just a silly child in this scene—and she's definitely more than just a stock orphan in this book. Which is probably why she crops up on a whole slew of Best Of lists (like The Atlantic's "The Greatest Girl Characters In Young Adult Literature" and why Mark Twain (yeah, that Mark Twain) called her "the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice."

Which: dang. When Mark "I wrote Huck Finn " Twain is praising a child character…you best listen up.

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