I love Anne of Green Gables. What’s not to like about an energetic, intelligent girl with a propensity for mishaps — half bad luck and half the result of her unforgiving, quick temper — with a good heart and a wonderful imagination? I watched it again this week — I can’t remember when I watched it last (or read it last) — and I was struck by the different incarnations of love in the movie. Anne is a creative, magical person who recognizes a kindred spirit when she meets one (unless it’s Gilbert Blythe!).
The kindred spirits:
- Marilla Cuthburt — loving parent. Marilla is a proud guardian who first warms up to Anne when she recognizes a piece of Anne in herself and slowly realizes that she can’t imagine life without her.
- Matthew Cuthburt — soul-mate (not romantic). It is love at first conversation for these two (Anne doing all the talking!) Anne asks Matthew if she’s talking too much, and he responds that he doesn’t mind. The connection is made, and Matthew and Anne are each other’s greatest fans for the rest of their lives.
- Diana Barry — bosom friend. Anne has always wanted a bosom friend, and she finds one in Diana Barry. This is of the typical girlhood friendship, developing into a strong sisterly. Unfortunately, Diana often lives in Anne’s shadow, but they love each other very much and develop into fine young women, each in their different life paths.
- Gilbert Blythe — romantic interest. Were Anne and Gilbert soul-mates? I’ll have to watch the sequel again! But they do seem meant for each other and destined for love in the typical I tease you –> I hate you –> You’re not so bad –> I think I like you–> sort of way. (I believe this is my ideal love story — It’s the same one as in Pride and Prejudice!)
- Josephine Barry — surprise kindred spirit and benefactor of grand experiences. This one I took right from Anne herself, as she referred to Aunt Josephine — Diana’s great-aunt — as possibly a “kindred spirit” after all. Like Matthew, Aunt Josephine is first won by Anne’s moving, rambling words. After a heartfelt, well-planned explanation and plea from Anne, Aunt Josephine renege’s Diana’s punishment (following yet another of Anne’s unlucky mishaps). She immediately invites Anne to stay with her and discovers her inner child whenever they are together.
Have you taken a fresh look at a childhood favorite? Also, who are the soul-mates in your life story?