ENGB35 Feb 27, 2013
Montgomery elicits sympathy for Anne by making it seem that Anne is so lonely that she
depends on her imagination to save her. Imaginary friends because she has no real
Anne‘s imagination also helps her escape from the real world of adults – when adults
speak to her, she slips into her imaginary world in order to escape them.
Marilla ―had an uncomfortable feeling that while this odd child‘s body might be
there at the table her spirit was far away in some remote airy cloudland, borne
aloft on the wings of imagination‖
"No. I'm not your aunt and I don't believe in calling people names that don't belong to
"But we could imagine you were my aunt."
"I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.
"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?" asked Anne wide-
"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss—Marilla, how much you miss!"
"I don't believe in imagining things different from what they really are," retorted Marilla.
"When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine
Marilla is not imaginative – this showcases a religious standpoint
o spokesperson of the older puritan, Scottish-influenced farm country
society (Nova Scotia)
o Imagining things other than they are is sacrilegious
o Explains why fairytales and children‘s fiction took so long to become
o Later implies that the next step from telling fiction, is to tell lies
o The absolute worst fault a child could have is to be a liar
Marilla has a separation between the imagination and religion. When she is
telling Anne off for being too imaginative, she then sends Anne to get a card with
the Lord‘s prayer written on it so that Anne can be improved. ENGB35 Feb 27, 2013
Anne is fascinated by a picture of Jesus Saving the Little Children. This is an
allusion to the fact that children are innocent – opposite to the Puritan belief that
children are evil and need to be saved (shows Montgomery‘s religious views)
o And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and
his disciples rebuked those that brought them.But when Jesus saw it, he
was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to
come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as
a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms,
put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-15)
―But don't let Mrs. Barry hear you talking about your Katie Maurices and your Violettas
or she'll think you tell stories."
"I think this story-writing business is the foolishest yet," scoffed Marilla. "You'll get a
pack of nonsense into your heads and waste time that should be put on your lessons.
Reading stories is bad enough but writing them is worse."
Anne reading her romantic stories is not as bad as her writing them.
This is in contrast to the March girls‘ story writing club
o However, Jo‘s stories had to be reined in to be more domestic
Idlewild is a pretend house for the girls, showing that Anne does want a domestic life. It
is both an escape from domestic life (imagination) and domesticity (playing house).
However, it is a future of adulthood that Anne is not ready for.
The imagination does have restraints though
―It's the first thing I ever saw that couldn't be improved upon by imagination. It just
satisfies me here"—she put one hand on her breast—"it made a queer funny ache and
yet it was a pleasant ache.‖
PEI is perfect, even without Anne‘s imagination. This means that PEI is
represented as an ideal.
Standpoint from where Anne‘s imagination goes from there.
Red hair – might be considered bad because red hair did originate from the Celts and
the Irish are descended from them. At the time of the book, the Irish were looked down
on for being poor = class problems. ENGB35 Feb 27, 2013
It‘s uncommon, it‘s red hair
A physical symbol of non-conformity to her society
Association with red hair and a bad temper
Judas always represented with red hair
Montgomery is clearly challenging that tradition
o Not aligning with the puritan looks and whatnot
o Red hair was pre-raphaelite symbol of sensuality
Dyeing her hair = ―a wicked thing to do‖
Dyeing her hair is a physical image of Anne‘s imagination – this is how she
wanted to look, in her mind
Doing so changes God‘s image = bad
Vanity is a sin
"Yes, I knew it was a little wicked," admitted Anne. "But I thought it was worth while to
be a little wicked to get rid of red hair. I counted the cost, Marilla. Besides, I meant to be
extra good in other ways to make up for it."
For Anne, dyeing her hair was a physical choice not a moral choice
―The girls in books lose their hair in fevers or sell it to get money for some good deed,
and I'm sure I wouldn't mind losing my hair in some such fashion half so much. But
there is nothing comforting in having your hair cut off because you've dyed it a dreadful
color, is there?‖
Reference to Jo March
Jo vs. Anne
o For Jo, cutting her hair has a tomboyish aspect.
o Jo become less of a little girl – step towards domesticity
o Anne is never really punished