Study Guide

Anne of Green Gables Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

A Tempest in the School Teapot

  • Notice that this chapter title is a little less clear than the rest. It's a reference to the idiom "a tempest in a teapot" which means making a big deal over something small.
  • Anne's first day of school goes well. Afterwards, she tells Marilla about it in her long-winded way—how she's only on the fourth reader while the rest of her age group is on the fifth, and how everyone says the teacher Mr. Phillips is in love with an older student named Prissy Andrews. (Oh, and just a note to make this slightly less creepy: students in this area went to a short teaching school when they were sixteen, so Mr. Phillips is probably only a of couple years older than Prissy.)
  • Three weeks into school, Diana tells Anne that a boy named Gilbert Blythe will be back from vacation, that he's on the same reader as Anne (he missed a lot of school when his dad got sick), and that he teases all the girls.
  • Anne sees Gilbert that day, tying another girl's braids to her chair.
  • That afternoon, Gilbert tries to get a daydreaming Anne to notice him by grabbing her braid, and whispering "carrots" at her.
  • Oh, people of Avonlea. You should know by now that You Don't Talk About Anne's Red Hair.
  • Anne calls Gilbert a "mean, hateful boy" (15.37) and cracks her slate over Gilbert's head.
  • Gilbert tries to take the blame, but Mr. Phillips makes Anne stand in the front of the class room with a note over head: "Ann Shirley has a very bad temper. Ann Shirley must learn to control her temper" (15.47).
  • That's right—he forgot the "e."
  • Gilbert tries to apologize, but Anne's just not over it.
  • The next day Anne gets in trouble for coming in from lunch late, even though a bunch of other kids came in late as well. Mr. Phillips makes her sit on the boys' side of the room, next to Gilbert Blythe.
  • During their afternoon as desk-mates, Gilbert tries to give Anne a candy heart that says "you're sweet" and Anne grinds it down with her shoe. Bad timing, Gil.
  • Anne tells Marilla she's never going back to school.
  • Marilla doesn't want to get into another standoff, so she goes to Rachel Lynde for advice. Rachel suggests letting Anne stay home and waiting for it to blow over, rather than battling out this one. She thinks Mr. Phillips is a bad teacher and Anne won't miss much anyway.
  • So Anne stays home and hangs out with Diana after school. One day she even cries from imagining a scenario in which Diana dies, which makes Marilla, for the first time in this book, really laugh.

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