Study Guide

Anne of Green Gables Friendship

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"I think he's lovely," said Anne reproachfully. "He is so very sympathetic. He didn't mind how much I talked—he seemed to like it. I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."

"You're both queer enough, if that's what you mean by kindred spirits," said Marilla with a sniff. (4.27-28)

Matthew and Anne compliment each other perfectly. Anne is a chatterbox, and Matthew likes to listen. Plus, Anne sees something in Matthew that other people don't—sympathy. Matthew can understand her feelings and feel them along with her.

"Marilla," she demanded presently, "do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?

"A—a what kind of friend?"

"A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my innermost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her all my life." (8.35-37)

Bosom = Anne-speak for "best." (Also: what an awesome description of what a best friend is.)

Diana repeated the "oath" with a laugh fore and aft. Then she said:

"You're a queer girl, Anne. I heard before that you were queer. But I believe I'm going to like you real well." (12.37-38)

See, this is why Diana is great for Anne. A true friend says "You're weird, and I love you for it."

"Mr. Phillips says I'm the worst dunce he ever saw at it. And Gil—I mean some of the others are so smart at it. It is extremely mortifying, Marilla. Even Diana gets along better than I do. But I don't mind being beaten by Diana." (17.33)

We know Anne's competitive when it comes to schoolwork. So it says a lot that it doesn't bother her when Diana beats her. She's so proud of Diana that it cancels out any jealous feelings.

"Miss Barry was a kindred spirit after all," Anne confided to Marilla. "You wouldn't think so to look at her, but she is. You don't find it right out at first, as in Matthew's case, but after awhile you come to see it." (19.98)

We heart Anne's idea of the kindred spirit: someone who fits with you, who is compatible, who you naturally get along with. Miss Barry is proof that unlikely people can turn out to be kindred.

"Your solo was perfectly elegant, Diana. I felt prouder than you did when it was encored. I just said to myself, "It is my dear bosom friend who is so honored." (25.52)

Have you ever watched a friend do something great, and wanted to shout "I know them!" If Diana became a pop star, Anne would absolutely run her fan club.

Anne's unhappiness continued for a week. During that time she went nowhere and shampooed her hair every day. Diana alone of outsiders knew the fatal secret, but she promised solemnly never to tell, and it may be stated here and now that she kept her word. (27.33)

You've got to admire Diana's secret-keeping ability, especially since "Anne accidentally dyed her hair green" would have been a juicy gossip.

Miss Barry was a rather selfish old lady, if the truth must be told, and had never cared much for anybody but herself. She valued people only as they were of service to her or amused her. Anne had amused her, and consequently stood high in the old lady's good graces. But Miss Barry found herself thinking less about Anne's quaint speeches than of her fresh enthusiasm, her transparent emotions, her little winning ways, and the sweetness of her eyes and lips. (29.33)

And her heart grew three sizes that day. This is the part when Anne changes from a funny distraction to someone Miss Barry actually cares about.

"Diana and I are thinking seriously of promising each other that we will never marry but be nice old maids and live together forever." (30.7)

Every once in awhile, Anne gets stressed out about the future, when she imagines she and Diana will marry and spend less time together. It may seem like a silly thing to worry about, but think of it this way: aside from family, Anne and Diana are the most important people in each other's lives. Who can blame them for wanting to stay that way?

"You've done pretty well, I must say, Anne," said Marilla, trying to hide her extreme pride in Anne from Mrs. Rachel's critical eye. But that good soul said heartily:

"I just guess she has done well, and far be it from me to be backward in saying it. You're a credit to your friends, Anne, that's what, and we're all proud of you." (32.44-45)

One good thing about Mrs. Lynde: she doesn't hold anything back. When she's annoyed, she says so, just the same as when she's happy or proud. So this change of heart from when she first met Anne comes easily to her.

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