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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Anne prepares for bed on her first night in the Cuthbert home, Marilla asks her if she owns a nightgown.  Anne answers that she actually has two nightgowns, each handmade by the "matron of the asylum."  Anne describes her two nightgowns as "fearfully skimpy."  Skimpy can mean revealing or meager.  In Anne's description, she is calling her nightgowns meager and simple.  She goes on to tell Marilla that skimpy nightgowns are common in poor orphanages like the one she was at because "there is never enough to go around."  She continues talking after her description of her pitiful nightgown situation with no response from Marilla.  Idealistic Anne then describes the type of nightgown that she wishes she owned.  Anne's dream nightgown would be a "lovely trailing [one], with frills around the neck."  Practical Marilla ignores Anne's prattle about nightgowns with frills and instructs Anne to get ready for bed quickly.