Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

The Anne series by L. M. Montgomery traces the relationship between Anne and Gilbert, from their initial childhood meeting through their education to their eventual marriage. At the same time, Anne repeatedly hears stories of women who have quarreled with fiancés and allowed pride to ruin their lives. How are these stories similar to, and different from, Anne’s story?

Although conforming to conventional social rules of the early twentieth century, Anne seems surprisingly modern, especially in her independence and ambition. Illustrate these personality traits with examples from the series.

When Anne’s impulsiveness gets her into awkward situations, she usually can extricate herself using her verbal skills and ability to gauge other people’s personalities. How do these talents help her gain community acceptance, win respect from her students, and achieve other goals?

Anne’s imagination usually improves her circumstances, but occasionally she carries it a bit too far. Cite examples of both the positive and negative results of Anne’s imagination.

In Anne of Avonlea, Anne is teaching in the village school. How are her students like her schoolmates in the first novel? How are they different? Specifically, how do Marilla’s foster children, Davy and Dora, resemble Anne and Diana?

The Anne series chronicles several of Anne’s life stages. How does Anne change, and how does she remain the same, at the various stages? In what ways does her life resemble Montgomery’s?