Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Anne of Green Gables - Book Review

Anne of Green Gables - A masterpiece in literature.  Engrossing, amusing and a read that promises to keep you transported for hours.

L M Montgomery has penned an absorbing body of imagination and created a character who gives substance, value and meaning to her literature form. Anne is a gem of sorts, an embodiment of imagination or maybe the word imagination finds a true meaning when it attaches itself to Anne. Anne with an E, ofcourse! That you won’t forget if you have read this novel because Anne won’t let you.

A simple, ordinary story told with simple characters whom you will cherish for lifetime. They will outgrow their simplicity and become extraordinary as you flip the pages. Montgomery has given every character a rope wherein the scope of growth is meticulously chalked out. Take for example, Marilla, a head strong woman who doesn’t feel right to let go her emotion and is strong enough to hold her tongue and not fritter the praises on Anne transforms into a mellowed woman towards the end of the story. Rachel, a lady with a pin point focus on everyone in the neighborhood, is quick to make an educated guess on her saying “Marilla has mellowed a bit” .  Mathew, a shy, timid and ordinary brother of Marilla who has his own way to nurture Anne but doesn’t want to put his oar in and let Marilla chalk out her own course for the child to grow, gathers his wits and endorses his affection in his own way. When he purchases dresses for Anne, the love sizzles and for once, Marilla given how she, stops minding about it. Mathew also grows into being more open and expressive towards the end and sheds his laconic speech and choice of words.  Like these characters, Montgomery has made other characters mature with the story like Rachel becoming more empathetic and kinder towards Anne, or the main protagonist Anne becoming more focused and holds up her flow of imagination so as not to get in scrapes or any turmoil.

Anne has been perused and fruitfully molded and acts as a synonymous to green gables, the most devoured and adored setting in the book. The setting will embark you on a delightful journey, transporting you to the realm very different from reality and deep inside you would want to stay in that setting even after you hit the last page. The old woods, the lush greenery, the hills and the beautiful and innocent brook will occupy all the white spaces in the book making the book ‘setting significant’. Anne with her sky-high imagination, gives pretty names to the setting she routinely encounters. ‘‘I like giving name handles to everything I see and that is so interesting isn’t it’’, this sentence can we forget? Anne with her scrapes gets better and better and joyfully ventures to say that every mistake is making her rise from the ignorance and carelessness. Sometimes she is all fire rain and dew and sometimes she dolefully submits to the petty annoyance of the environment. This bothers Marilla as she puts it “This child might suffer in future as she is not able to take joy and pain with balance” But then Anne grows and that is so relatable as every human past their childhood and shy of adulthood would have experienced this exciting tumult of emotions and growing years mellows the behavior.

Anne also has world of wisdom to share and that she sends out by bringing Rachel Lynde into the picture. As children cannot wax eloquent the wise thoughts or it may sound unimaginable/unbelievable to the readers, Rachel, a dignified matron, sounds believable and readers could attach credence and naturalness to the words written. So thoughtful for the author to have taken that approach.

If a simple and lonesome neighborhood has so much scope of imagination, can’t we follow in Anne’s footsteps and employ our imagination to the surrounding we live and engage ourselves in. Wouldn’t that be fun and for children who aim to give wings to their imagination, this novel should be read and reread.

Bonus - A manual of Parenting tips unleashed

So this book is not only about imagination and carefree spirit, the eponymous heroine Anne but also offers a sneak peak on parenting tactics.

To put the oar only if it is needed - Too many cooks spoil the broth or too many voices dilute the essence of the message, are the messages which Montgomery is trying to say through the character Mathew. Mathew stays silent in most of the story when it comes to taking charge of parenting roles. He lets Marilla take charge and reins in her own hands and only interferes a little. Why is it so? Children need to be taught good behaviour and charitable manners and if there are multiple voices interfering in the process, they tend to get lost and confused. If a parent is trying to make a point, let there not be any interference from grandparent or aunty or uncle or any other caregiver, let the message be directly addressed from parent to child. Rest of them can wait to give their opinion. Too many opinions and ideas thrown in the court of a child does not augur well for their conduct and development. Montgomery emphasizes on this point time and again in the book which is very essential and relevant in all times. It doesn't come across direct or matter of fact in the read but can be gleaned when parsed through the lines effectively. 

  

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Anne of Green Gables - Book Review

Anne of Green Gables - A masterpiece in literature.  Engrossing, amusing and a read that promises to keep you transported for hours. L M Mon...