ANNOTATIONS-Author's Biography.-Summary of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES-Summary II-Plot Overview-Character List-Character Analysis-Themes-Symbols-Motifs-Key Facts-Important Quotations ExplainedMontgomery's journal for 1904 contains the germ for her first published novel, Anne of Green Gables: An elderly couple intend to adopt a young boy, but the orphanage sends a young girl instead. Spinster Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew decide to adopt an orphan boy to help Matthew with chores. Complications occur when Matthew, a shy bachelor, is completely overwhelmed by the imaginative girl waiting at the train station. Anne talks all the way to Green Gables, explaining how imagination helps her cope with the unpleasantness of life as an orphan; she creates personalities for trees, brooks, ponds, even a geranium at the doorstep, giving each an imaginative name. This love of nature seems excessive to many in Avonlea, but Matthew is charmed, insisting that she remain. Anne declares Matthew the first "kindred spirit" she encounters in Avonlea.Eventually, Marilla decides Providence sent Anne to Green Gables. She never completely understands Anne, and she has difficulty expressing affection, but Marilla's pride in and love for Anne grow throughout the novel. Seeing her role as disciplinarian, Marilla allows Matthew to spoil Anne, while she tries to inculcate religious principles, etiquette, and a degree of practicality, but she too insists that Anne have the best life the Cuthberts can afford.Impetuous and quick-tempered, Anne must learn tact, restraint, and etiquette before she moves from outsider to part of the community. Her hasty words and rash actions offend adults like Mrs. Lynde and Josephine Barry, Diana's rich, elderly aunt, but Anne's profuse, heartfelt apologies charm the injured parties.Anne also learns that problems can result from carelessness. The special cake she bakes for the new pastor and his wife is seasoned with anodyne liniment instead of vanilla because Anne has not checked the bottle's contents. In a similar mix-up, she serves Diana currant wine instead of raspberry cordial; though neither girl recognizes what is happening, Diana becomes drunk, and only Anne's dramatic rescue of Diana's younger sister reconciles Mrs. Barry to their continued friendship.Anne considers Diana a kindred spirit but recognizes her "bosom friend's" more limited imagination. It is Anne who tells stories of the Haunted Wood, making both of them scared to walk there alone after dark. Anne also nearly drowns when she decides to dramatize the story of Elaine, the lily maid, using a flatboat on the creek. Fortunately, Gilbert rescues her.Anne's relationship with Gilbert is a continuing plot line. Her pride prevents acceptance of his attempts at friendship, and his pride will not allow him to continue trying. Their classmates believe they will eventually reconcile and marry; Marilla secretly hopes that the son of her one-time beau will someday marry her adopted daughter. For Anne, though, the presence of Gilbert spurs her ambition, making her determined to win the highest academic honors and give the most effective dramatic readings. The two become friends only at the novel's end, when Gilbert gives up the Avonlea school so Anne can teach there and help Marilla save Green Gables.Despite Matthew's death and Marilla's failing eyesight, the novel ends on an upbeat note as Anne renounces her scholarship to Redmond College, taking the teaching job in Avonlea. Anne says she is staying because she loves Green Gables; in fact, she also loves Marilla and feels responsibility toward her. Realizing Gilbert's sacrifice, Anne approaches him and apologizes for her stubbornness. The two agree to study together to prepare for Redmond.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), who wrote under the name L.M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author who found international fame from the publication of her first novel, Anne of Green Gables. When Lucy was very young, her mother died of tuberculosis, and, as a result, Lucy was sent to live with her grandparents in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Wracked by loneliness, she filled the void in her life by writing of imaginary characters and worlds to keep her company. Anne of Green Gables, is thought of to have mirrored her experiences as a child, bringing to life the circumstances that shaped so much of who she became. Once published, Anne of Green Gables became her most acclaimed novel and was an immediate success.