Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables Summary and Analysis of Chapters 9 - 14


Chapter 9

After Anne has lived at Green Gables for a fortnight, Mrs. Rachel Lynde comes over to see what she is like. When she arrives, Anne is playing outside. Mrs. Rachel and Lynde talk for a little while. Mrs. Rachel still thinks it is a bad idea to keep an orphan girl in one’s home, to which Marilla responds that Anne is already having a positive impact on the household. Marilla calls Anne inside to meet Mrs. Rachel Lynde. When Anne enters, Mrs. Rachel immediately begins to criticize her appearance, including her skinniness, freckles, and red hair. Anne is provoked by these insults, particularly regarding her red hair; she runs up to Mrs. Rachel, stamps her feet, and yells that she hates her. She also calls Mrs. Rachel rude and unfeeling, criticizing Mrs. Rachel’s appearance. Marilla sends Anne to her room. Anne bursts into tears, runs up to her room, and slams the door.

Marilla tells Mrs. Rachel that she will give Anne a talking-to, but she adds that Mrs. Rachel should not have insulted her. Mrs. Rachel recommends that Marilla whip Anne with a switch and says that she may not be back to visit Marilla for a while. Mrs. Rachel leaves and Marilla goes up to Anne’s bedroom. Marilla feels embarrassed at Anne’s behavior and confused as to how she should punish Anne. She does not want to whip her, but she wants to make Anne understand that she did something wrong. Marilla tells Anne that she is ashamed of her. However, Marilla thinks back to a time when her appearance was insulted as a child and how long it took her to get over that comment. Marilla tells Anne that Mrs. Rachel was too outspoken, but she adds that Anne still should never behave poorly toward an elderly guest. Marilla tells Anne that she will have to apologize to Mrs. Rachel. Anne refuses, and Marilla says Anne will have to stay in the bedroom until she decides to apologize. Marilla leaves the room and is angry with herself because she finds that she feels like laughing when she recalls Mrs. Rachel’s shocked face.

Chapter 10

The next morning, Anne still has not assented to apologize to Mrs. Rachel. Marilla keeps Anne in her room all day, bringing food up to her room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Matthew notices that Anne does not seem to be eating much of the food, so he decides to go up and talk to her. He tells Anne that she should apologize to Mrs. Rachel because he knows Marilla will not back down until she does. Anne tells Matthew that she is not as angry anymore, but she is prevented from apologizing by her embarrassment. She decides that she will apologize to Mrs. Rachel because Matthew has asked her to. Matthew tells Anne not to tell Marilla that he spoke to her about the matter.

Anne tells Marilla that she is ready to apologize to Mrs. Rachel; in the evening, they leave for Mrs. Rachel’s house together. Anne begins the walk seeming dejected, but by the time they reach Mrs. Rachel’s house, she is described as having “an air of subdued exhilaration about her” (p. 92). When they reach Mrs. Rachel’s house, Anne gets down on her knees and effusively begs for Mrs. Rachel’s forgiveness. Marilla and Mrs. Rachel both recognize that Anne is being sincere, though Marilla also notices that Anne enjoys the theatricality of the apology more than she would have liked. Mrs. Rachel accepts Anne’s apology and even tells her that she once knew a girl whose red hair turned to auburn when she grew up. Marilla and Mrs. Rachel let Anne go outside to play in the garden while they talk; in this conversation, Mrs. Rachel admits to Marilla that she likes Anne.

On the way home, Anne expresses pride in the way she apologized. Again, Marilla is annoyed to realize that she finds Anne’s behavior funny, even though she disapproves of it. Anne tells Marilla that it’s hard for her not to get angry when people criticize her looks. Anne expresses her love of beautiful things and her desire to be beautiful, which Marilla calls vain. As they approach Green Gables, Anne takes Marilla’s hand and says that she is so happy to have a home. Anne tells Marilla that she wouldn’t find it hard to pray right now.

Chapter 11

Marilla has sewn Anne three new dresses, which Anne does not like because they are so plain. Anne particularly wishes that they had puffed sleeves, which are fashionable. Anne decides she will imagine that the dresses look the way she wants them to.

The next morning, it is time for Anne to go to Sunday school for the first time, but Marilla cannot take her due to a headache. She sends Anne to ask Mrs. Rachel to walk with her to the church and show her how to behave. On her walk, Anne stops to make a garland of flowers and puts it on her hat. When Anne reaches Mrs. Rachel’s house, the woman is not there, so Anne walks to the church alone.

At Sunday School, Anne meets many other little girls, mostly attired in cute dresses with puffed sleeves. The Sunday School teacher uses the class time to drill the students with questions, which Anne is able to answer since Marilla had made her study ahead of time.

Anne goes home after Sunday School and tells Marilla that she didn’t like it. Anne says that the sermon was long and boring so she looked outside at a lake and used her imagination. She also says she didn’t like that all the other girls had puffed sleeves and that she had to answer the teacher’s questions without asking any herself. When Anne finishes her criticisms, Marilla thinks to herself that she actually agrees with Anne but has never let herself express those thoughts before.

Chapter 12

It is a week before Marilla finds out that Anne went to church with a flower garland on her hat. Marilla tells Anne that she should never do that again and that many people have been saying it reflects poorly on Marilla. Anne’s eyes fill with tears and she tells Marilla that she should send her back to the orphan asylum. Marilla comforts Anne and tells her that she can go meet Diana Barry, the girl who lives nearby, that afternoon. Anne becomes very worried about the possibility of Diana and Diana’s strict mother not liking her.

At the Barry house, Anne introduces herself politely to Mrs. Barry. Mrs. Barry tells Marilla and Anne that Diana reads too much and encourages the girls to go outside and play together. Outside, Anne and Diana both seem very eager to become close friends. They swear an oath to be bosom friends forever and spend the rest of their time playing in nature. Anne teaches Diana to name things in fanciful ways, such as naming a log bridge “the Dryad’s Bubble” (p. 112). When Marilla and Anne arrive home, Matthew presents Anne with some chocolate candies. Anne quickly decides that she will save half and give them to Diana. When Anne has gone upstairs, Marilla reflects on the fact that. though Anne has been at Green Gables for only three weeks, Marilla already cannot imagine life without her.

Chapter 13

In August, Anne excitedly tells Marilla that the Sunday School is planning a picnic. Anne is especially excited that there will be ice cream, which she has never tasted. Marilla tells Anne to work on her patchwork until teatime, which Anne does grumpily. Anne tells Marilla about how she and Diana have created a pretend house in a clearing in the woods, complete with stones for seats and broken dishes for pretend meals. Anne talks on and on until Marilla tells her to be quiet for a while.

For the rest of the week, Anne is frantic about whether the picnic will be canceled for bad weather. Marilla tells Anne that she is setting herself up for disappointment by getting her heart set on things, but Anne responds that “looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them” (p. 119).

The narrator notes that that day, Marilla wears her amethyst brooch to church, as she always does. The brooch has been passed down from Marilla’s mother. The narrator also notes that when Anne first saw Marilla’s brooch, she was dazzled by it and asked Marilla if she could hold it.

Chapter 14

One evening a few days before the picnic, Marilla asks Anne whether she has seen her amethyst brooch. Anne says that she did see it earlier that day and tried it on, but she put it back on the bureau afterward. Marilla looks for the brooch again and, unable to find it, thinks that Anne is lying about putting it back. She sends Anne to her room until she is ready to confess to having lost the brooch. Marilla tells Matthew about it, who takes Anne’s side at first; however, after hearing that Marilla has checked everywhere, he merely thinks that he is glad that he doesn’t have to deal with disciplining Anne.

Marilla goes up to Anne’s room the night before the picnic and tells Anne that she will not get to go to the picnic if she does not confess. Anne is devastated and begs Marilla to let her go, but Marilla stands firm. The next morning, the day of the picnic, Anne confesses to Marilla. She tells Marilla—in a voice that sounds like she is reciting a memorized lesson—that she took the amethyst brooch to play with outside and dropped it into a lake. Marilla becomes very angry and tells Anne she still cannot go to the picnic, as a punishment for her behavior. Anne screams and cries, but Marilla leaves her in the room.

Marilla cleans the house all morning to avoid thinking about the situation with Anne. When she goes up to call Anne to lunch, Anne is still crying and says that her heart is broken. Marilla goes downstairs in exasperation and complains to Matthew. However, instead of comforting her, Matthew suggests letting Anne go to the picnic since she is so young and neglected. Marilla says that she can’t, especially when it seems that Anne is not actually remorseful for what she did.

After lunch, Marilla decides she will mend a shawl that she noticed on Monday had a hole in it. When Marilla pulls out the shawl, she sees the amethyst brooch is caught on it! Marilla immediately goes to Anne’s bedroom with the brooch in hand. Anne tells her that she made up a confession to tell Marilla so that she could go to the picnic. Marilla says that they both have things to apologize for, and she says that Anne can go to the picnic.

Anne is immediately overjoyed and rushes to get ready. Anne is happy and exhausted when she returns that evening from the picnic. After Anne has gone to bed, Marilla tells Matthew that Anne is hard to understand, but she believes she will turn out all right.


In Chapter 9, we again see Anne's sensitivity about her looks when she yells at Mrs. Rachel Lynde after the older woman criticizes Anne's hair, freckles, and skinniness. This pattern will continue to get Anne into trouble throughout the book, such as when she attacks Gilbert at school after he makes fun of her hair, or when she tries to dye her hair black and ends up turning it green. For Anne, someone criticizing her looks is someone pointing out that she is different, and this makes Anne fear that she is unlovable.

Anne's argument and apology to Mrs. Rachel Lynde also demonstrate Anne's unique ability to charm adults. First, the narrator says that Marilla is surprised at herself for defending Anne's actions to Mrs. Rachel Lynde, showing that Anne brings out a rare feistiness in Marilla. Though Marilla scolds herself, she finds herself wanting to laugh at Mrs. Rachel Lynde getting a taste of her own medicine. Then, Mrs. Rachel Lynde herself is charmed by Anne when the young girl apologizes. Mrs. Rachel Lynde remarks, "She certainly is an odd child, but there is something kind of taking about her after all. I don't feel so surprised at you and Matthew keeping her as I did...On the whole, Marilla, I kind of like her" (p. 95). Anne's honest and emotional way of interacting with others may take people aback at first, but throughout the novel, almost everyone she meets ends up wanting to be her friend.

L. M. Montgomery uses foreshadowing frequently in Anne of Green Gables. One example of this is when Marilla tells Anne, "I guess Diana'll like you well enough. It's her mother you've got to reckon with. If she doesn't like you it won't matter how much Diana does" (p. 108). This quote foreshadows a major conflict later in the book when Diana's mother forbids Diana from being Anne's friend. By using foreshadowing, Montgomery creates tension, suspense, and curiosity throughout the novel.

Another example of Montgomery's use of foreshadowing can be seen at the end of Chapter 13. Montgomery introduces the symbol of Marilla's amethyst brooch and specifically says that it "was Marilla's most treasured possession" (p. 119). The narrator also notes that Anne was "smitten with delighted admiration" (p. 120) and begged Marilla to hold it. This foreshadows the conflict between Anne and Marilla in Chapter 14 over whether Anne lost the amethyst brooch. The brooch is an important symbol because it represents Marilla's connection to her family. When Marilla thinks that Anne has lost the brooch, this temporarily ruptures the familial connection the two have been forging.

Marilla's maternal feelings toward Anne grow rapidly during this section of the book, but we also see the deficits she has as a parent figure. Marilla tells Matthew that she can't imagine Green Gables without Anne, but she rarely says this kind of statement to Anne since she seems to think it would spoil her. This leads Anne to turn to Matthew for emotional support rather than Marilla. Marilla also has difficulty disciplining Anne. She is conflicted over whether to whip Anne following the conflict with Mrs. Rachel Lynde, and she tells Anne, "You are the very wickedest girl I ever heard of" (p. 126) when she believes Anne lost her brooch. Though Anne does not react to this statement, it is important to remember that she was neglected and felt unloved throughout her childhood, so this kind of statement could confirm her feelings that she does not belong.