Lucy Maud Montgomery’s short story “A Fortunate Mistake” suggests that a person’s individual perspective can sometimes fall prey to someone else’s individual perspective. Early on in the story, Nan and Maude offer their own individual perspectives on Florrie Hamilton. From their point of view, it was rude not to invite Florrie to the picnic. Yet their views, and those of the more compassionate girls, were overridden by the individual perspectives of Patty Morrison and Wilhelmina Patterson, who, according to Maude, “had the most to say about the invitations.”
When the story switches to Florrie Hamilton’s point of view, the reader learns more about how the group perspective negates distinct perspectives. “Some, it is true, tried at the start to be friends,” concedes the narrator. However, Florrie was “too keenly sensitive to the atmosphere around her to respond.” In other words, the collective perspectives of the unfriendly girls poisoned the environment for everyone, including the girls who initially tried to be her friend.
Of course, after Maude mistakenly invited Florrie Hamilton instead of Florrie Hastings to come and visit her injured sister, Nan becomes aware of what an interesting person Florrie Hamilton is. In a way, the mistake tied to the note reveals another, perhaps larger, mistake. Maybe Nan, Maud, and the other relevant girls should have stuck up for their specific perspectives and tried harder to combat the unfriendly environment. As Maude admits, “I'm afraid we girls at Miss Braxton's have been getting snobbish.” The girls correct their mistake, and they become friends with Florrie Hamilton, who becomes one of the most popular girls at Miss Braxton's private school.