The Wisdom of Anne of Green Gables

I have just finished re-reading one of my favorite books. And, like all those tomes I’ve labelled “favorites” over the years, this one has given me even more to love as an adult (which descriptive term I use quite loosely).

Like many young dreamers, Anne of Green Gables touched my childhood in so many ways. I loved the skinny, red-haired orphan girl who used big words, lost herself in books and imagination, got herself into the most disastrous scrapes, and managed to keep dreaming through it all. From Anne, I took a philosophy of the world that has stuck with me to this day, one of love and trust, of seeing the beauty in the natural and human worlds around us.

This time around, I have gleaned even more wisdom, some of it a bittersweet recollection of youth that seems long past. So here I want to share some quotes and some things I’ve learned from Anne over the years.

  • It’s alright to use big words, even if people laugh at you: “And people laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”
  • A sense of wonder is a requirement for living: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes feel glad to be alive — it’s such an interesting world.”
  • Life seems better when you pretend you’re the heroine of a grand romance: “‘Oh, what I know about myself isn’t really worth telling,’ said Anne eagerly. ‘If you’ll only let me tell you what I imagine about myself you’ll think it ever so much more interesting.'”
  • Good friends are worth working for: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
  • There is never only one version of you, and this is what people will love most: “There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think it is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one anne, it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” & “Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts.”
  • Every day is a new opportunity: “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
  • Sometimes life leads in unexpected directions that may be just as beautiful and excited as what we had hoped for on our expected path: “I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes — what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows — what new landscapes — what new beauties — what curves and hills and valleys further on.”

And of course,

‘Dear old world, ‘ she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.’


15 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Anne of Green Gables

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  1. I always loved “Anne of Green Gables”. I read the easy version of it, along with many other classics, as a child. You really captured the essence of Anne’s character in these quotes. She makes everything seem both simple and profound.

  2. I have a deep love for “Anne of Green Gables” and reread it often. . . and I always have such a hard time explaining why it means so much to me. . . But I think you did a wonderful job highlighting why she’s such a wonderful character, and why I cherish her so 🙂

    1. Thank you for the nice words! I mean to reread Anne more often than I actually do. But I enjoy reminding myself of her spirit all the time. Oh, to see such wonder in the world!

  3. I love Anne of Green Gables so very much. After the babies were born, when I needed a little light reading, I re-read the entire series on my Kindle. It was lovely.

    Have you read the Emily books?

    1. The entire Anne series is sitting on my shelf. I think I will read something else for the moment, but my plan is to reread all of them in the next few months! And I want to read the Emily books! I’ve been watching the tv series on dvd and loving it.

      1. I had no idea there was a TV adaptation of Emily! (I have Anne on DVD, but I never watch any of them past the first one. The third, of course, should not be spoken of.)

  4. I love LM Montgomery. Anne, of course, is wonderful and so is the Emily series. Have you read The Blue Castle? It’s my favorites of hers. 🙂 I’m planning on rereading it this next year.

    1. I was literally JUST looking for The Blue Castle! I haven’t read it, but really really want to. I am hoping to find it and take it with me over Christmas 🙂

      1. 🙂 That’s awesome. It’s so hard to find a nice copy. I was lucky that my local library has it but I want to add it to my collection. Can’t wait to read what you think of it.

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