Study Guide

Anne of Green Gables The Home

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The Home

"Well, well, there's no need to cry about it."

"Yes, there is need!" The child raised her head quickly, revealing a tear-stained face and trembling lips. "You would cry, too, if you were an orphan and had come to a place you thought was going to be home and found that they didn't want you because you weren't a boy. Oh, this is the most tragical thing that ever happened to me!" (3.11-12)

You tell her, Anne. It's a little unfair of Marilla to expect Anne not to be upset when she's taking away something Anne thought she was getting, something she's never had before.

"There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there? And it's so hard to keep from loving things, isn't it? That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here. I thought I'd have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me." (4.32)

Because Anne loves nature and beauty, Green Gables is the ideal place for her. Also, Green Gables would be/is the first location where she hasn't been in a position of servitude. It's a location, and it's also a physical embodiment of freedom.

"I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of bewilderment. "I can't think why. I'm glad as glad can be. Oh glad doesn't seem the right word at all. I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms—but this! Oh, it's something more than glad." (8.7)

Crying from happiness is something Anne is so unused to that she doesn't understand it. But her tears show us what a big deal moment this is.

Hence, while Marilla and Mrs. Rachel were enjoying themselves hugely at the mass meeting, Anne and Matthew had the cheerful kitchen at Green Gables all to themselves. A bright fire was glowing in the old-fashioned Waterloo stove and blue-white frost crystals were shining on the windowpanes. Matthew nodded over a Farmer's Advocate on the sofa and Anne at the table studied her lessons with grim determination, despite sundry wistful glances at the clock shelf, where lay a new book that Jane Andrews had leant her that day. (18.3)

Who do you think is having more fun, Marilla or Anne? This warm, homey scene makes us want to be in Anne's shoes.

In all essential respects the little gable chamber was unchanged. The walls were as white, the pincushion as hard, the chairs as stiffly and yellowly upright as ever. Yet the whole character of the room was altered. It was full of a new vital, pulsing personality that seemed to pervade it and to be quite independent of schoolgirl books and dresses and ribbons, and even of the cracked blue jug full of apple blossoms on the table. It was as if all the dreams, sleeping and waking, of its vivid occupant had taken a visible although immaterial form and had tapestried the bare room with splendid filmy tissues of rainbow and moonshine. (20.7)

The East Gable room seems different, now that Anne lives there, but it's less about Anne's things being in the room and more of a feeling. Sort of like how Matthew and Marilla are little bit different since Anne entered their lives, but it would be hard to describe exactly what about them has changed.

Her eyes dwelt affectionately on Green Gables, peering through its network of trees and reflecting the sunlight back from its windows in several little coruscations of glory.

Marilla, as she picked her steps along the damp lane, thought that it was really a satisfaction to know that she was going home to a briskly snapping wood fire and a table nicely spread for tea, instead of to the cold comfort of old Aid meeting evenings before Anne had come to Green Gables. (27.2)

Here's a rare chance when we get to see Green Gables through Marilla's eyes, and see that the comforts of home mean as much to her as they do to Anne.

When she crossed the log bridge over the brook the kitchen light of Green Gables winked at her a friendly welcome back, and through the open door shone the hearth fire, sending out its warm red glow athwart the chilly autumn night. Anne ran blithely up the hill and into the kitchen, where a hot supper was waiting on the table. (29.37)

Ah, the joy of coming home after travelling. Anne's all about it, and the way she runs in without even pausing shows us how she feels like she belongs there.

The east gable was a very different place from what it had been on that night four years before, when Anne had felt its bareness penetrate to the marrow of her spirit with its inhospitable chill. Changes had crept in, Marilla conniving at them resignedly, until it was as sweet and dainty a nest as a young girl could desire.

The velvet carpet and pink silk curtains of Anne's early visions had certainly never materialized; but her dreams had kept pace with her growth, and it is not probable she lamented them. (33.3-4)

We're about to get another description of how Anne has grown up through a view of her bedroom. It's not how she had imagined her dream room when she was young, but she's changed, and it's her ideal room now.

She looked dismally about her narrow little room, with its dull-papered, pictureless walls, its small iron bedstead and empty bookcase; and a horrible choke came into her throat as she thought of her own white room at Green Gables, where she would have the pleasant consciousness of a great green still outdoors, of sweet peas growing in the garden, and moonlight falling on the orchard, of the brook below the slope and the spruce boughs tossing in the night wind beyond it, of a vast starry sky, and the light from Diana's window shining out through the gap in the trees. (34.16)

Anne's homesick. You might say she's Avonlea-sick, because when she thinks about her room, what she misses is the view of nature that surrounds the Green Gables house.

"Nonsense!" Anne laughed merrily. "There is no sacrifice. Nothing could be worse than giving up Green Gables—nothing could hurt me more. We must keep the dear old place." (38.24)

Anne is giving up a scholarship to college to save Green Gables. We know how much Anne loves learning, so that really shows what Green Gables means to her. It's more important than most things in her life.

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