Anne of Green Gables is full of detailed, beautiful descriptions of nature. For example, as Matthew Cuthbert brings Anne home for the first time, the narrator describes trees, ponds, and hills with colorful and emotional imagery. One description of a pond reads, "The water was a glory of many shifting hues - the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose and ethereal green, with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever been found" (p. 27). This imagery, particularly the narrator's comment that the pond held colors that didn't even have names, shows Anne's wonder and awe at the beauty of Avonlea.
Anne's Red Hair
Anne's red hair is referenced repeatedly in the text, mostly due to her dislike of it. Her hair is often compared to carrots, which upsets her because it doesn't seem flattering. Instead, Anne dreams of her hair being "a glorious black, black as the raven's wing" (p. 23), which she thinks is more romantic. She even attempts to dye her hair black, though it turns out as a greenish color instead. The vivid color of Anne's hair matches her vibrant personality; as her hair settles into a more subtle auburn color as she grows older, it represents her maturation and her ability to rein in her boisterous nature.
The Geography of Avonlea
Montgomery gives her story a realistic feeling by describing the geography of Avonlea in great detail. The narration often reminds the reader of the distance between different houses, such as Green Gables, Rachel Lynde's home, and the Barrys' home. There are also frequent notes about trees, forests, and roads that connect parts of the town. Montgomery was able to write with this level of detail by referencing her own upbringing on Prince Edward Island in a town very similar to Avonlea.
Montgomery often gives the reader a strong sense of characters' emotions by describing how their body reacts. For example, when Mrs. Rachel Lynde makes fun of Anne's appearance, the narrator states, "With one bound she crossed the kitchen floor and stood before Mrs. Rachel, her face scarlet with anger, her lips quivering, and her whole slender form trembling from head to foot" (p. 83). Through detailed descriptions of the physical manifestations of emotions, the narrative allows young readers to identify and empathize with the characters' emotions.
Anne of Green Gables Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Anne of Green Gables is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.