Anne of Green Gables | Study Guide

L. M. Montgomery

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Anne of Green Gables Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 Oct. 2017. Web. 23 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, October 25). Anne of Green Gables Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Anne of Green Gables Study Guide." October 25, 2017. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Anne of Green Gables Study Guide," October 25, 2017, accessed July 23, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Anne-of-Green-Gables/.

Anne of Green Gables | Chapter 38 : The Bend in the Road | Summary

Share
Share

Summary

Anne finds a downcast Marilla sitting in the kitchen. Marilla reports the oculist she saw predicts she'll go completely blind within six months unless she stops reading and sewing, along with taking many other precautions. Bitterly Marilla asks what she'll live for now. She also begs Anne not to tell anyone this news.

After Marilla is in bed, Anne goes up to her room. How things have changed in just a few days! But after thinking hard for a while, she goes to bed with a smile. In her thoughts, she "looked her duty courageously in the face and found it a friend."

A few days later Marilla brokenly tells Anne she's going to sell the farm. She can't stay here alone if she can't use her eyes. If she loses her sight, she won't be able to run the house. Every cent of her money is lost. She plans to move in with Mrs. Lynde, and Anne won't have a home to come to for college vacations.

Anne says, "You mustn't sell Green Gables ... I'm not going to Redmond." She's decided not to take the scholarship. She'll get a teaching job nearby so she can stay at home and help Marilla take care of the house. Diana's father is going to rent the Cuthberts' farm, "and we'll be real cozy and happy here together." Marilla protests strenuously, but Anne is firm. She can create her own "little college course," and nothing would be worse than to lose Green Gables. Nobody can love the house more than she and Marilla.

Since the people of Avonlea know nothing about Marilla's eyes, there is plenty of gossip about why Anne is abandoning the scholarship. But Mrs. Allan and Mrs. Lynde are fervent in their praise, though Mrs. Lynde worries Anne will study too hard. Mrs. Lynde has come with some new information: Gilbert Blythe, who was going to teach at Avonlea School, has withdrawn his application and taken a school in White Sands. Anne is stunned. She can't let Gilbert make this sacrifice for her! But Mrs. Lynde says he's already signed a contract at the White Sands school.

The next evening as Anne is walking home from a visit to Matthew's grave, she sees Gilbert walking toward her. He lifts his cap politely but says nothing—until Anne stops and holds out her hand. Blushing, she thanks him for giving up Avonlea School. Gilbert takes her hand eagerly, saying he was happy to be able to help her. "Are we going to be friends after this?" he asks. Anne confesses she forgave him years ago and has "been sorry ever since." Gilbert says happily, "We were born to be good friends, Anne. You've thwarted destiny enough." He too will be keeping up his college studies. They can help each other! And now he'll walk her home.

In the Green Gables kitchen, Marilla wonders whom Anne was talking to at the gate for half an hour. Anne tells her she and Gilbert have made up their quarrel and "have five years' lost conversations to catch up with, Marilla."

Alone in her room that night, Anne is content. Her future may be less bright now, but "sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship" will help her down the path. And there's always the bend in the road.

Analysis

Matthew and Marilla offered Anne a home; now she can help Marilla keep that home: "I'm quite content to be Anne of Green Gables." The steely resolve that sustained Anne during her long quarrel with Gilbert Blythe is being used for a kinder purpose now.

Years after writing Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery confessed to being sorry she had killed Matthew off. His death, she said, was necessary to bring about Anne's sacrifice. Maidenly sacrifice was fashionable in fiction at that time, and Montgomery liked to give her novels traditional endings.

In her own life Montgomery made a similar choice when she was slightly older than Anne. In 1898 Montgomery's maternal grandfather died. He had left the house not to his wife but to his son, John F. Macneill. Montgomery's grandmother was allowed to live there only for as long as she could maintain the house. Old Mrs. Macneill could not manage on her own, so Montgomery—who had been teaching on the mainland at the time—finished out the term and returned to live with her. It was a disappointing and discouraging time in her life. Perhaps she reimagined this difficult episode when she wrote Anne of Green Gables and gave Anne the tender resolve she herself had lacked. Perhaps, too, she paid homage to her thwarted ambitions when she had Anne declare, "I'm just as ambitious as ever." In any case, readers may be sure there will be a bend in the road.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Anne of Green Gables? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!