Anne Realizes That Green Gables Is Home
Having used early chapters of the novel to establish Anne’s -character, in this section Montgomery shows the results of Anne’s -development and maturity. Anne is contented, lovely, and -successful. After visiting Aunt Josephine, Anne realizes that the luxurious belongings for which she has always yearned do not -satisfy her as she dreamed they would. She discovers that the ways of Avonlea suit her better than elegant city life. Even the critical Mrs. Rachel, initially a vocal critic of Anne’s looks, proclaims that Anne has turned into a beauty. And Anne’s dedicated studying pays off tangibly when she ties Gilbert for first place in the entrance exams.
Anne’s progress into adulthood is not always easy, however. She and Diana cling to their childhoods, deciding that they can avoid marriage, children, and adulthood by living together as old maids. The girls know that they will be separated, as Anne will go to college and Diana will not. Their separation at the end of every day, as Anne studies with the Queen’s Academy candidates while Diana goes home, foreshadows the greater separation to come the following year, when Anne will attend Queen’s Academy full time. Marilla, too, feels the pangs of impending separation, mourning the loss of Anne’s childhood and the nearness of her departure for Queen’s Academy. Marilla appreciates the companionship and energy Anne brings to Green Gables. As Anne becomes more adult, Matthew and Marilla grow older; Marilla has frequent head and eye aches, and Matthew has heart troubles.
Anne benefits from the strong women who encourage her. Whereas earlier Marilla does not approve of female teachers, she now encourages Anne to make a career of teaching. Miss Stacy provides a model for Anne’s possible career as a teacher. Even Mrs. Rachel, who is so often very critical of Anne, takes pride in Anne’s academic achievements and begins to respect her as a woman.
The pace of the novel mirrors the pace of Anne’s life. Earlier in the novel, each minor event, each cooking accident and social gaffe, fills Anne’s mind, and so fills an entire chapter. As Anne matures, the events of her life move more quickly, and she begins to think of important plans like going to college. As a result, the novel’s pace accelerates. Instead of focusing on one daylong event, as do the early chapters, these chapters begin to cover entire school years. The acceleration of the narrative does not necessarily suggest that Anne is growing up too quickly; rather, it shows that Anne is maturing and that what she deems important has changed. In her youth she focuses on immediate events, but as she grows older she develops a broader, more far-reaching perspective.