Chapter 24 Summary
Anne is not disappointed with her new teacher, Miss Stacy. She finds her bright and very sympathetic. Miss Stacy easily wins the hearts of her students by bringing out the best in them, both morally and mentally. Every day after school, Anne talks about Miss Stacy to Marilla and Matthew. Marilla feels a little skeptical of Miss Stacy and her nontraditional ways. For instance, she heard from Mrs. Lynde that on a school outing to one of the farmers’ fields, boys from the class climbed a tree under Miss Stacy’s urging. Marilla cannot understand why the class was outside rather than in the classroom or why the teacher had the boys climb a tree. Anne explains that Miss Stacy wanted the students to study a bird’s nest, which was perched high in the tree. They have one field day each week, Anne tells Marilla. Afterward, the children write essays about what they have learned. Anne boasts that her essays are always the best; Miss Stacy has told her so.
Miss Stacy comes up with an even more ambitious plan for November: she asks her students to put together a concert performance for Christmas night. Anne has never been so excited about a school project, although Marilla thinks it is all a waste of time. Miss Stacy, Marilla says, is filling the students’ head with nonsense. The children should be focusing more on their regular lessons. Performance makes children too vain, Marilla thinks.
Trying to soothe her, Anne asks Marilla if she might be proud of her if she distinguishes herself on Christmas night at the concert. Marilla says she only hopes that Anne behaves herself. Since the talk of the performance, Marilla claims, Anne’s head has been “stuffed full of dialogues and groans.” On top of this, Anne has been more talkative than usual; Marilla wonders how Anne’s tongue is not completely worn out.
Anne feels discouraged by Marilla’s disapproval and lack of appreciation, so she goes out to the yard, where she finds Matthew splitting wood. As she talks to Matthew about the concert, she hopes he will have a sympathetic ear, and he does. Matthew tells her he thinks it will be a very good concert and that he expects Anne will do a great job of any task set before her. This makes Anne smile. Over the past couple of years, Anne and Matthew have become best friends. Hardly a night goes by that Matthew does not give thanks that Anne has come into his life. He is also thankful that he is not responsible for disciplining her. That is Marilla’s duty. Because he does not have to “bring her up,” Matthew is free to spoil Anne. He enjoys his role very much.