Anne of Green Gables

Gender Construction and Nature in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables College

There is much debate amongst literary critics over L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. The arguments stem from the whether or not it should be defined as a feminist novel and what the narrative really implies about women. L.M. Montgomery disassociated herself from the feminist movement, yet she believed that women should have the right to vote (Montgomery and Cecily, 27). Her seemingly contrasting views and opinions have led to a diverse cacophony of works from both ends of the spectrum. Although there may be subtle hints of pervasive femininity in Anne, older girls are generally the ones who recognize it. Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables as a “girl’s novel,” depicting women as behaving in a prescribed way and embodying certain characteristics. By doing this, Montgomery affirms gender difference but not inequality (Montgomery and Cecily, 26). Anne of Green Gables reveals the early 20th Century assumptions about the role of females in society and, in doing so, presents the limited number of choices available to them.

Anne’s imagination is what makes her special and unique, even though her romantic thoughts and pictures are distinctly feminine (Berg, 127). However, she must learn to repress her imagination as she gets...

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