What style of story is Anne of Green Gables?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne of Green Gables tells the story of an enigmatic, determined young girl who has her fair share of challenges, all of which she meets head on. They do, however, cause her endless difficulties and send her on a steep learning curve during her time with hardworking brother and sister Matthew and Marilla. Anne is such an engaging character that she creates a stir wherever she goes. Lucy Maud Montgomery has a style that engages younger readers and exposes them to a narrative that is beyond expectations. 

Montgomery shares some of her own childhood memories in this novel and her characterization of Anne reflects her own personality. The reader cannot help but feel strongly about Anne, whether it is to like her or to find her irritating, and this allows Montgomery to develop her character. Anne is everything Marilla does not expect in a child. Apart from not being a boy, such as Matthew and Marilla expected, Anne's daydreams do not conform to Marilla's sense of propriety and she worries about Anne's distorted vision of the world. Montgomery uses Anne and Marilla to teach young readers about compromise in a non-judgmental manner. Anne makes mistakes from which she learns and Marilla learns acceptance of Anne's unusual approach to life. Ultimately, they complement each other.

Her style also introduces young readers to language that is descriptive and adds drama to even mundane circumstances and events. She adds elements like visual pictures to ensure that the reader can visualize and appreciate everything. In chapter 5, Anne is talking to Marilla about roses and how "isn't pink the most bewitching color in the world?" She manages to incorporate talk of redheaded girls (a major issue for Anne) into the same conversation. Montgomery discusses topics of interest to young people without coming across as patronizing. Her style encourages discussion. 

Montgomery introduces young readers to symbolism, metaphor and colorful language which they can easily emulate as it is uncomplicated and relevant. As Anne's hair color is a source of constant grief to Anne, being a redhead, when Marilla suggests that Anne will, most likely, always be a redhead, Anne is devastated, suggesting that, "My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes." Through this use of metaphor, readers become familiar with figurative language and its interpretation is less challenging. Readers become used to this style, and grasp meaning far more readily than they would in a complex story with a deep or obscure meaning.

Montgomery's style is therefore descriptive (she describes most things in order to create a visual picture), persuasive (she tries to persuade herself, at least, that red hair can be beautiful) and is essentially narrative writing (telling a story with a logical flow with well developed characters). All of this ensures that, by the end, the young reader has an appreciation for language and has also grasped the main message of the story. The reader finishes this story hoping that there is a sequel.

iamkaori | Student

The novel, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery is a narrative. It is also fictional. This story takes place on Prince Edwards Island. The story is extremely dramatic, and Anne is a dynamic character. The novel is mainly written from Anne's point of view, and she is the main protagonist.