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ENGB35 Anne of Green Gables 2.docx

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Pouneh Saeedi

ENGB35 Anne of Green Gables 2 Anne‟s imagination and the genre of the book Her imagination is a defence mechanism:  Montgomery elicits sympathy for Anne  Her imaginary friends, a nice way of the psychic effects of the realistic poverty that Anne experiences  It‟s not just about a hard life, but that it embeds itself in her psyche  So her imagination is compensation for her loneliness  Before Marilla decides to adopt Anne: o She tells Anne to stop talking one moment o But Anne‟s silence was just as, if not more, disturbing o When Anne evades adult supervision by getting stuck in her head o Marilla has no access to her thoughts and no way to control her o So, an element of her imagination being quite powerful o An escape from an adult world  Ch. 8: o Marilla refuses to let Anne call her Aunt o Marilla gives a religious viewpoint  She draws a definite line in the sand here, spokesperson of the older puritan, Scottish-influenced farm country society (Nova Scotia)  Imagining things other than they are is sacrilegious  Explains why fairytales and children‟s fiction took so long to become fantastic  Later implies that the next step from telling fiction, is to tell lies  The absolute worst fault a child could have is to be a liar  P. 93  The rest of the book shapes the way Anne‟s imagination is framed  The only moralism in this book is centered around the imagination, but not in a straightforward way  Marilla‟s criticism about the story-telling club o Reading them is one thing, writing them is worse o Mrs. March encourages her daughters to have their story club and she watches and implicitly endorses that play  So quite sentimental  Thought part two, the type of story Jo‟s allowed to write has to be disciplined: domestic realism o Very subtle suggestion that Anne‟s imagination is also somewhat anti-domestic in chapter thirteen  Marilla‟s not happy because Anne‟s late to sewing because she was playing with Diana  “Idlewild” House:  It really is little girls playing house  Which suggests that on some level, Anne imagines a domestic life o She wants a domestic life  On one hand, it‟s a distraction from domesticity, and yet it‟s playing at domesticity  Idle or idyll, it‟s an ideal  Unlike in LW, this is a leap too far  A desire for adulthood Anne isn‟t ready for  Marilla‟s opposition between religion and imagination breaks down almost immediately o When she‟s telling Anne not to imagine things differently o She sends Anne to get a copy of the Lord‟s Player to learn by heart o Anne is transfixed by a picture of Christ blessing little children  Very famous verses where Jesus rebukes his disciples about being unhappy o The allusion to the children being innocent—complete opposite of the puritan religion where children are awful and need to be saved and stuff  Shows Montgomery‟s romantic religious beliefs Limits to imagination:  Nature o “It‟s the first thing I ever saw that couldn‟t be improved upon by imagination” o When Anne first sees the avenue as she‟s coming home with Matthew from the orphanage o Reinforces the contrast between Avonlea and Nova Scotia o PEI becomes the ideal here, it cannot be improved upon, Anne doesn‟t need to use her imagination  Renders her imagination pointless o Important signpost for where her imagination goes from this standpoint  Red hair o It‟s uncommon, it‟s red hair o A physical symbol of non-conformity to her society o Association with red hair and a bad temper o Judas always represented with red hair o Self-affirming tradition o Montgomery is clearly challenging that tradition  Not aligning with the puritan looks and whatnot  Red hair was pre-raphaelite symbol of sensuality o Anne laments that no heroine  She‟s clearly one of them, that she has celtic origins  So her hair actually makes her one of their own  Irish being second-class  The Weasleys and their lots of children o Rowling also trying to subvert stereotypes  Though she takes it as a symbol that she‟s not one of them o No twenty-first century antagonism from the other children against the ginger o It‟s more the adults worrying about her hair o She tries to dye her hair black  Marilla thinks it‟s wicked  Extension of the argument against imagination, trying to make things different, which is immoral because it‟s questioning and challenging God‟s view of the world  Religious sin of vanity, the preoccupation of the body with one‟s looks  Anne admits that she was vain about her hair  The primary motivation for Anne is not a moral one, but an aesthetic one  She meant to compensate it by being good in other ways  Can deal with a little wickedness to get rid of her hair  Intertextual allusion:  Anne remarks on the difference between characters cutting off their hair to sell it (Jo March) vs. Anne cutting off her hair to get rid of hack dye job (vanity)
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