Matthew expected to meet a boy. Does the author's choice of words make you feel sorry for Matthew in this situation?    

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You could definitely argue that L. M. Montgomery created a sense of pity for Matthew Cuthbert in chapter two of Anne of Green Gables through her word choices. For example, she first points out what a long journey Matthew faced:

"Matthew Cuthbert and the sorrel mare jogged comfortably over the eight miles to Bright River."

Along this long road (which would have taken hours by horse, unlike our modern day cars) Matthew had to acknowledge the presence of women by "nod[ding] to them," which was very uncomfortable to him. The author explains,

"Matthew dreaded all women except Marilla and Mrs. Rachel; he had an uncomfortable feeling that the mysterious creatures were secretly laughing at him. He may have been quite right in thinking so, for he was an odd-looking personage, with an ungainly figure and long iron-gray hair . . ."

In other words, Matthew felt uncomfortable, shy, and a bit insecure around women. He acknowledged that he was not overly attractive, and the women were not overly interested in receiving his attention. The only exceptions to this (the only women Matthew feels comfortable around) were his sister and their nosy neighbor, Mrs. Rachel.

When Matthew finally arrives, after his long journey, he finds a girl sitting at the station. He barely notices her and disregards her entirely:

"'I'm not expecting a girl,' said Matthew blankly. 'It's a boy I've come for. He should be here. Mrs. Alexander Spencer was to bring him over from Nova Scotia for me . . .'"

Throughout chapter two, Matthew faces struggles, such as his long journey and the miscommunication between him and Marilla and their friend Mrs. Spencer. (They were expecting to adopt a boy to help them with household labor; a young girl wouldn't be much help for Matthew.) The author creates a sense of pity toward Matthew as he is forced to make decisions after this miscommunication:

"'I don't understand,' said Matthew helplessly, wishing that Marilla was at hand to cope with the situation."

Matthew was supposed to be picking up an adopted boy who could help him around the house with farm work. Instead, he goes through an arduous journey to pick up a girl. Matthew is very uncomfortable interacting with women (and probably girls) who he has not met before. We sympathize with Matthew, who now has to ride eight miles home with a young girl. We wonder, how will Marilla react when Matthew and Anne get home? And how will he and Marilla resolve this miscommunication?

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