Course Hero. "Anne of Green Gables Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 Oct. 2017. Web. 14 May 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/>.
Course Hero. (2017, October 25). Anne of Green Gables Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Anne of Green Gables Study Guide." October 25, 2017. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/.
Course Hero, "Anne of Green Gables Study Guide," October 25, 2017, accessed May 14, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/.
Anne and Diana walk to school together every day, assigning lovely names to many of the spots they pass—Diana's contribution: Birch Path—admiring the wildflowers, and gossiping about their classmates. School is pleasant, too, though Anne doesn't think much of the teacher, Mr. Phillips. Marilla worries Anne will be too odd to make friends, but she's soon at the center of a big group of girls.
As they're walking to school one day a few weeks in October, Diana tells Anne Gilbert Blythe will be back in class that day. He's been away visiting cousins. Diana assures Anne Gilbert is "AW'FLY handsome," adding happily Gilbert "just torments our lives out." He also is used to being head of his class—meaning Anne will have to work hard to keep up with him.
Gilbert does turn out to be handsome, with curly brown hair and "roguish hazel eyes." Anne first spies him when he's playing a trick on Ruby Gillis. Gilbert winks at Anne, not pleased by the attention. That afternoon Gilbert tries and fails to get Anne to notice him. Piqued, he picks up one of her braids and whispers "Carrots! Carrots!" In a flash Anne jumps up and cracks her slate over his head. "You mean, hateful boy! How dare you!" she cries.
Though Gilbert staunchly defends Anne, Mr. Phillips punishes her. For the rest of the afternoon she must stand in front of the class with the words "Ann Shirley has a very bad temper" written on the blackboard over her head. Anne vows never to forgive either Gilbert or the teacher.
Things get worse the next day. After recess Anne gets back to class late, arriving just as the boys do. Several other students have been late too, but Mr. Phillips decides to make an example of Anne. "Since you seem to be so fond of the boys' company," she must sit with Gilbert Blythe for the rest of the afternoon. Stunned and furious Anne obeys but buries her face in her arms and refuses to stand up until it's time to go home. Then she clears her desk ostentatiously. "I'll NEVER go to school to that man again," she tells Diana. Once home she tells Marilla the same thing. "I'll learn my lessons at home and I'll be as good as I can be"—but she won't go back.
Marilla asks Mrs. Lynde's advice that evening. Mrs. Lynde advises letting Anne have her own way for a while. Mr. Phillips shouldn't have singled Anne out for punishment when other students had also been late. He's a terrible teacher, and as Mrs. Lynde states, "The order he keeps is scandalous." Mrs. Lynde is sure Anne will soon get lonely studying at home and "cool off in a week or so."
But Anne does not cool off. She does her schoolwork and plays with Diana after school, but she refuses to return to school or speak to Gilbert. But "as much as she hated Gilbert ... did she love Diana." One evening Marilla finds Anne sobbing "luxuriously" as she imagines Diana's growing up and getting married. "I hate her husband—I just hate him furiously," she wails. Marilla can't help it: she laughs so hard Matthew can't believe his ears.
What a wonderful glimpse this chapter gives into the vanished world of the old-fashioned schoolhouse. The children put their bottles of milk into the brook to keep them cold until lunch; during recess they pull chewing gum from the spruce trees; they sit next to each other at double desks. There are more seats than students, which is why Anne is able to fit next to Gilbert at his desk.
Anne is as passionate in her hatreds as in her loves, and this is the first chapter in which she acquires some enemies. Mr. Phillips becomes one quickly. The Pye sisters, especially Josie, will return to annoy Anne throughout the series. But it's Gilbert she takes against instantly. Who can blame her? Gilbert seems obnoxious on first meeting. The trick he plays on Ruby is unkind, not mischievous. His winking at Anne "with inexpressible drollery" annoys her, and not just because they haven't yet met. Winking at Anne right after he's played a trick on Ruby suggests Anne is complicit in the joke, or at least assumes she won't tell anyone what she's seen.
Gilbert becomes increasingly annoying that day. He doesn't like being ignored by Anne, but what a way he picks to get her attention. True, he doesn't know how much Anne hates people talking about her hair; true, boys that age and in that time might have felt awkward simply introducing themselves to a new girl. But holding up her braid and whispering "Carrots!" is buffoonish. Also this is the second time he's teased a classmate about her braids. Later in the book Gilbert will be almost magically transformed; at the moment, however, he seems like a brat.
Anne is so generous of spirit she may seem like someone who would forgive easily, but she maintains an unwavering hatred of Gilbert for years. Her refusal to return to school quells even Marilla; her endless disdain will finally turn Gilbert himself against her. With this chapter readers learn Anne has a steely side.