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ENGB35H3 Lecture Notes - Little Women, Knitting

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Pouneh Saeedi

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ENGB35 Anne of Green Gables
Somewhat halfway of Little Women and Treasure Island
Anne wants to find a home and stay there
TI is about Jim having to leave home to become a man
But conceptually, quite close
The key example of romantic childhood
Everyone more or less same class in this society
Not the same sense of the Marchs against the world, Anne vs. Avonlea society
Marilla vs. Mrs. March
o Marilla completely not motherly
o Doesn’t really know what to do with a child
o Anne makes her the mother she never was
Unleashes her mothering instinct
Given the way Anne clashes with Rachel Lind, cueing us to be on Anne’s side
o Poking a little fun at Rachel Lind, and everybody
Anne is quite happy to be domesticated, but vice versa, it’s not sort of enforced the way it is in
Little Women
The plot isn’t one of disciplining, but the opposite, since conforming to Rachel Lind
Whereas Jo March has to go through this journey to domesticity, Anne doesn’t
She can turn around even the most old crotchety aunts on her side
Does a good job of knitting the social fabric of the town
It is the child that influences the adults and makes them better
Anne is the medicine that this community needs, and THIS is the romantic investment in
o In this sense, the child saves the day, is how it’s more like Treasure Island
Anne is associated with two very important romantic virtues:
o Nature
o Imagination
Mutual salvation at the beginning of the book
Almost like the Cuthberts are rewarded for saving Anne
This is a working farming community and they’re looking to hire a boy to work, not seeking to
adopt an orphan
Marilla was shrewd enough, but then next sentence: FREE INDIRECT DISCOURSE
o Start off narrating, then move seamlessly into the character’s thing
o Really gives you a sense of the characters themselves
Children need nature to thrive and to grow
First thing we learn from the station master
She goes about renaming all the common places in Avonlea
Adding poetry to the world
Very clear that her imagination is not just some innate characteristic
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