Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables Literary Elements


Children's fiction

Setting and Context

Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1876-81

Narrator and Point of View

3rd-person narration; follows Anne's point of view (with occasional switches to Marilla, Matthew, and Mrs. Rachel Lynde)

Tone and Mood

Positive tone and mood due to the perspective of Anne

Protagonist and Antagonist

Anne Shirley is the protagonist. Gilbert Blythe and Josie Pie, schoolmates of Anne, are the antagonists.

Major Conflict

Anne clashes with many of the locals as she is an idealist compared to their practical way of life.


Matthew's monetary issues lead to health problems and he passes away.


Anne's early relationships foreshadow later developments in her life, such as her first interactions with Diana foreshadowing their "kindred" connection and her rivalry with Gilbert foreshadowing their later romantic relationship.


Marilla's early illness in understated as a "headache" in order for the reader to, at first, believe it to be harmless; it later develops and threatens to take Marilla's eyesight.


Anne alludes to the work of artists and poets who came before her in her romantic ideals, such as in her recreation of a poem by Tennyson where Anne floats down the river pretending to be the corpse of Elaine.


See the separate "Imagery" section of this ClassicNote.




Anne and Gilbert begin to parallel each other within their studies and their growing affection, foreshadowing that when Gilbert falls for Anne, she will soon fall for him as well.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



Anne personifies the nature around her. She grew up with no family or close friendships, so she practiced developing relationships with trees and plants that she felt to be "alive" in order to keep herself from being lonely.