Anne of Green Gables Irony

Anne of Green Gables Irony

Irony of Respect

Anne, conscious of her status as an orphan, wants to be respected. However her efforts toward this goal frequently backfire. Some of the things she does to attract attention, such as describing herself and her emotions in the most superlative form, tend to come across as being too intense. When she breaks a slate over Gilbert's head as retaliation for being teased about her hair, she destroys any immediate possibility of friendship with him.

Irony of Disappointment

Initially, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are disappointed by Anne, since their goal had been to adopt a boy and it appeared as though the child they received was the exact opposite of what they wanted. However they end up falling fiercely in love with her, because although she was not what they thought they wanted, she was what they needed.

Irony of Belonging

Throughout much of the novel Anne struggles like a fish out of water, trying her best to fit in and to belong. However she is different from the other children. She does not really start to fit in or belong in Avonlea until she stops trying.

Irony of Literary Ambitions

Anne, like the author, is a writer. Her desire to create epic, immortal poetry that reflect the strong emotions and passions within her is ironic because, at the time the story was written, nearly all the famous poets were male, upper-class Englishmen. Anne, a young female Canadian, has ambitions many would consider out of step with her station in life. However, because she reads and writes a lot, Anne is a very strong contender academically and stands a good chance of eventually making a living with her pen.

Irony of Hospitality

While entertaining her friend Diana in Marilla's absence, Anne follows what she believes to be proper adult hostess protocol, and serves Diana what they both believe to be a tasty fruit drink. Unfortunately, the bottle actually contains a strong liqueur. Both girls become drunk, and Diana's mother believes Anne did it intentionally. The misunderstanding very nearly ends the girls' friendship as Diana's mother forbids Diana to see Anne.

Irony of Helplessness

On the surface, Anne appears to be quite powerless: an eleven-year-old girl, shipped to a place where nobody knows her and where the people who adopt her wish she was somebody else. However, by the end of the book it is the Cuthberts, and in fact all of Avonlea, who end up adapting to Anne.

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