Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables Metaphors and Similes

"Listen to the trees talking in their sleep" (p. 30) (Metaphor/Personification)

Personification is a type of metaphor wherein an author gives something non-human the characteristics of a human. In this example, when Matthew Cuthbert is bringing Anne to Green Gables for the first time, she hears the sounds of trees moving in the night and says they must be talking in their sleep. This shows Anne's imagination and her tender feelings toward nature.

"Came back and sat down by the table, light and glow effectually blotted out as if someone had clapped an extinguisher on her" (p. 45) (Simile)

The narrator here describes a sudden change in Anne's emotional state going from bright and cheery to somber and subdued by using a comparison to a candle being extinguished. This simile is used to show how quickly and starkly the young girl's emotion changes as she grapples with having to leave Green Gables.

"My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes" (p. 49) (Metaphor)

Anne says that this metaphor is a quote she read in a book once and that she likes to say it when she is disappointed about something. Anne is a happy child generally, but when she is disappointed, it reminds her of how difficult her childhood has been. By using the words "graveyard" and "buried," Anne evokes dark images of death. This allows her to put words to her intensely despairing feelings while feeling mature and poetic.

"With her chin in her hands, drifted luxuriously out on a sea of daydreams" (p. 79) (Metaphor)

Anne has an amazing imagination, which she has used throughout her childhood to make many difficult situations more bearable. This metaphor helps the reader understand the powerful calming effect that daydreaming has for Anne. The metaphor also evokes images of nature, which is the subject of many of Anne's daydreams.

"The iron has entered into my soul, Diana" (p. 142) (Metaphor)

Anne uses this metaphor after hitting Gilbert Blythe with her slate when he makes fun of her hair at school. This phrase indicates that someone succumbs to depression or despair due to being imprisoned or treated poorly. It comes from a Bible verse about someone being fettered, or held in place, with irons. Using this phrase gives Anne a dramatic and educated tone regarding her emotions.