Interpretations of Anne

The story of Anne of Green Gables has been shared and loved by a diverse group of men, women, adults, children, from coast to coast around the world. It isn’t an overstatement to say that Anne is universally adored. Even esteemed writers and authors sing their praises about Anne.  One author in particular has kept the story of Anne close to her heart. Margaret Atwood, the famous Canadian novelist who wrote classics like The Handmaids Tale and The Cat’s eye has expressed many times how much she loves Anne. She read the novels as a child and introduced them to her daughter when she was Anne’s age. It would not be a far stretch to say that Atwood was inspired to write strong female characters after being introduced to our beloved head-strong Anne.


Atwood took her love for Anne to another level when she analyzed her interpretation of the story. The story is often interpreted as the story of Anne’s transformation while also staying true to herself. Atwood offers a new perspective; she believes the hidden story is actually about the transition of Marilla Cuthbert. The evolution of the character of Marilla Cuthbert is probably the most significant in the story. She starts as a cold spinster who does not show any compassion. But with the injection of Anne, Marilla slowly transitions into a loving, caring, maternal figure. “Anne is the catalyst,” wrote Atwood, “who allows the crisp, rigid Marilla to finally express her long-buried softer human emotions.”


You can read more about Margaret Atwood’s view on Anne of Green Gables here:




What do you think of this interpretation? Do you agree with Margaret Atwood or do you have another interpretation of the story? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Waneta says:

    I don’t agree that Anne never changed. You go into her supposed feelings in her background and make her respond the way that a child would in our day and age. A child who is spoiled and thinks only of themselves; reacting instead of acting. People in that day and age accepted much more disappointments. Sickness, pain, and death were a part of life. They saw death and disappointment as life. In our modern view of the world we avoid sickness, death and disappointment, and we have the wherewithal for it to happen. You made Ann a modern child, a child reacting in a modern way of thinking. Ann changed because the way she dealt with the misery of her life in the beginning was to talk to Katie in her own reflection. She was becoming a daughter at the same time Marilla was beginning to love and accept change. Anne learned how to blossom as did Marilla. They both learned that being a family could be a safe haven. They both learned to trust in each other which anchored them. Both of their previous lives was all about doing the right thing will bring acceptance. They both learned that their behavior didn’t make or break you in their family. They became a family where you are loved no matter what. They may not like what you did, and got discilined, like Anne having to apologize to Rachel Lyned. They learned to love and that set them free to be themselves.

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