I think one of my favourite quotes from this book is when Anne tries to justify her loquacious ways with the following reasoning, much to the chagrin of Marilla, who appears to just want to get her to shut up for two minutes so she could have some peace! Note what Anne says to her:
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?
This, in many ways, is a perfect quote to summarise Anne. She is incredibly talkative and not afraid to voice her ideas and share them with those around her. This is of course what makes her different from the women around her. Anne is not prepared to sit back and become a somewhat passive female character who does what she is told and is obedient without any questions. She is an active character who says what she things, and this of course is something that gets her into lots of trouble.
Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908, a time in North America when women were still expected to be quiet and demure. We do find moments in this novel when Anne does not conform to the gender expectations of her day.
For example, in Chapter 6, when Anne says that Mrs. Blewett looks like a "gimlet," Marilla sternly reminds her that such a comment is not appropriate for a young lady:
"A little girl like you should be ashamed of talking so about a lady and a stranger," she said severely. "Go back and sit down quietly and hold your tongue and behave as a good girl should."
At this time, it was also expected for young women in North America to be reverent and God-fearing. Thus, in Chapter 7, when Marilla tells Anne to say her prayers and "get into bed", she is "horrified" to hear Anne's response: "I never say any prayers."
Finally, Anne's tendency towards indulging her dreams and imagination also appears to be something that women of this time were expected to repress. In Chapter 7, when Marilla catches Anne daydreaming about a picture of "Christ Blessing Little Children" and imagining that she herself is one of those children, Marilla is disturbed when Anne objects to the sad expression on Jesus' face in the picture. Upon hearing Anne's interpretation, Marilla chastises her: "you shouldn't talk that way. It's irreverent--positively irreverent."
Thus, in Anne of Green Gables, the audience encounters a title character who dares to speak her mind, dream, and is unschooled in the ways of Christianity. Such behavior was not customary for women in the early 1900s.