What are some possible themes for Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery?

Expert Answers
mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One potential theme is imagination conflicting with societal expectations. When Anne arrives at Green Gables, she shows her imaginative personality. She imagines herself as "very beautiful and [having] nut-brown hair" (Chapter III). She begs Marilla to call her Cordelia because she thinks Anne Shirley is a plain and boring name. Marilla expects Anne to be content. She wants the girl to have Christian humility and give up her frivolous notions. Rachel Lynde also finds Anne's imagination to be inappropriate at times. She thinks Anne should behave more sensibly. 

Friendship would also be a theme of Anne of Green Gables. Anne has a strong desire to have a "bosom friend" (Chapter XII). When she meets Diana, she is overjoyed. Diana is the best friend Anne has ever had. Through changes and trials (such as when Diana's mother forbids her daughter from seeing Anne after she accidentally gets her drunk), Anne remains devoted to her friend.

Vanity is another theme. Anne loves things of beauty. When Marilla makes Anne new dresses, she finds them plain. Marilla thinks Anne should be content with the dresses. She does not "believe in pampering vanity" (Chapter XI). When Matthew buys Anne a dress with puff sleeves, Marilla comments that Anne is already "as vain as a peacock now." Anne buys a box of what she thinks is black hair dye. She wants "raven-black hair," like Diana's (Chapter XXV). Instead, the dye turns Anne's hair green. Marilla sees this as a consequence of Anne's vanity.

Read the study guide:
Anne of Green Gables

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question