Anne of Green Gables is an enchanting tale of a young orphan named Anne Shirley. Anne, who happens to be an eleven year old orphan at the beginning of the story, eventually gets adopted mistakenly by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Matthew and Marilla were simply looking for a young male orphan who would be able to assist them with physical work around the house because Matthew was getting older, and would need an extra hand. Despite having a little girl, who was useless to them physically, they quickly fell in love with this young girl’s goodness and great qualities. It has recently been discovered that Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green gables, was suffering of depression and loneliness at the time. This can be seen in certain parts and characters in the tale. Some of Anne’s experiences in the book are very similar to experiences that took place in Montgomery’s life. For Montgomery, writing was a sort of therapeutic relief that soothed her soul, therefore reflecting her emotions and troubles into Anne’s character. Throughout the novel, Anne’s imagination facilitates her life and gets her through the tough times. Without her precious imagination, this young girl would have suffered and might have missed out on all of the success she had acquired at the end Hurtubise 2
of the story. This girls struggle made her strong and perseverant, enabling her exciting journey at Green Gables to be a successful one.
It was recently discovered that Lucy Maud Montgomery was victim of depression and loneliness. These two problems are reflected through the novel and most of this is seen through Anne’s character. At the beginning of the story, Anne is a very sad person living in a very lonely world. Living in an orphanage was very painful and boring for Anne. She had to struggle and be tough to get through these times; she had a very hard lifestyle before she got to Green Gables. This hard lifestyle can be compared to Montgomery’s struggles while undergoing phases of depression and loneliness. Another interesting fact about Anne’s character in contrast with Montgomery is that a lot of situations that took place in Anne’s story are similar to experiences faced by the author herself. A great example demonstrating this fact would be what Montgomery wrote in her journal: “I am half sick now with anxiety and worry and have been so for the past two months. Uncle John and Prescott have been using grandmother shamefully all summer. Prescott, forsooth, wants to get married and get this house to live in! ... Grandmother told them she would not leave the home where she had lived and worked for sixty years” ( Blackford, Holly, p.56). At the end of the novel, Anne finds herself in a situation, where she feels that the precious house of Green Gables may be lost. She therefore decides that staying around and assisting Marilla with help around the house would be the better thing to do. This would in fact allow them to keep the house that she greatly fell in love with. Hurtubise 3
Anne’s love for the house and her wanting to keep it is very similar to Montgomery’s situation that was stated in her journal. For Montgomery, writing was a therapeutic relief. She would insert some of her experiences into her stories and this is why she and her feelings are reflected in Anne of Green Gables (Blackford, Holly, p.83).The main sign of significance between Montgomery and Anne’s character would be the loneliness they feel. Early in the story, we can see that Anne talks to her imaginary friend in a window. This shows us that Anne’s imagination helps her a lot, but also that she is going through very tough times. A young girl growing up without friends would result in a very depressing and lonely childhood. This could possibly be what Montgomery was feeling. Anne’s loneliness and lack of friends at the beginning of the novel could possibly be what Montgomery was feeling as she was in the process of writing...