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Anne of Green Gables | Study Guide

L. M. Montgomery

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Anne of Green Gables | Quotes


We're getting a little boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia and he's coming on the train tonight.

Marilla Cuthbert, Chapter 1

Marilla Cuthbert imparts this shocking news to her friend Mrs. Rachel Lynde. Marilla and her brother, Matthew, have decided to take in a boy to help on the farm in exchange for a home and an education. It's a surprising idea to everyone who knows this elderly brother and sister—but the real surprise comes when the orphanage sends them a girl by mistake.


Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who has red hair.

Anne Shirley, Chapter 1

Anne makes this comment to Matthew soon after meeting him. Even at 11, she's dreadfully self-conscious about her hair and freckles. Her sensitivity on these points get her into trouble at least twice in the book.


But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E.

Anne Shirley, Chapter 2

Reluctantly agreeing to be called by her real name rather than Cordelia, the tragically romantic-sounding name she has envisioned for herself, Anne implores Marilla at least to remember her name ends with an e. Anne believes it "more distinguished" than plain Ann. The notion of spelling her name with an e is typical of Anne's desire to be sophisticated, romantic, and mysterious rather than ordinary.


I like babies in moderation, but twins three times in succession is TOO MUCH.

Anne Shirley, Chapter 5

Anne is recounting her past to Marilla, and it's a troubled past. She may be young, but she has already spent years as a live-in babysitter and chore girl for two different families. The Hammonds are the family with three sets of twins, and Anne exhausts herself helping to care for them.


How would you like to be told you are fat and clumsy and probably hadn't a spark of imagination in you? I don't care if I do hurt your feelings by saying so!

Anne Shirley, Chapter 9

Mrs. Rachel Lynde has just committed the sin of mentioning Anne's red hair and freckles. Ever sensitive about them, high-spirited, articulate Anne explodes into a storm of temper and is punished by having to stay in her room until she agrees to apologize. Anne is sure she'll be locked up forever, but Matthew steals upstairs and tells her she'd better get it over with. To please him Anne agrees.


Oh, Diana ... do you think you can like me a little—enough to be my bosom friend?

Anne Shirley, Chapter 12

Anne is finally visiting Diana Barry, who has been away on a family trip. Considering she has never spoken to Diana before, Anne is coming on a little strong here. Luckily for Anne, Diana is a good-natured girl. All Anne has to do is ask, and Diana agrees to be best friends with her. It's the beginning of a loving and lifelong relationship.


Carrots! Carrots!

Gilbert Blythe, Chapter 15

Anne's new classmate, Gilbert Blythe, wants Anne to stop ignoring him. Unfortunately for him, he chooses the worst possible thing to say when he pulls one of Anne's braids and whispers this memorable phrase. Anne is so sensitive about her hair she breaks her slate over his head and refuses to speak to him for the next five years.


That's awfully nice raspberry cordial, Anne. I didn't know raspberry cordial was so nice.

Diana Barry, Chapter 16

Anne has been preparing for days to have Diana Barry over for a grown-up tea party. Neither Anne nor Diana realizes the "raspberry cordial" Anne serves is actually currant wine. Diana gulps down three big glasses full and reels home drunk. Despite Anne's and Marilla's explanations, Mrs. Barry forces Diana to break off her friendship with Anne.


Mercy on us, Anne, you've flavored that cake with ANODYNE LINIMENT.

Marilla Cuthbert, Chapter 21

This quote occurs in a scene describing another mix-up at another tea party, this one with the minister's wife. When Marilla invites Mrs. Allan for tea, Anne is allowed to make a cake. Because she has a cold that day, she doesn't notice the smell of the little bottle she takes out of the cupboard. Anodyne liniment, a patent cure-all, contains all kinds of nasty ingredients—opium, ether, and sometimes ammonia. Mrs. Allan is so kind and polite she continues to eat her cake, without commenting on the taste, until Marilla stops her.


I shall walk that ridgepole, Diana, or perish in the attempt. If I am killed you are to have my pearl bead ring.

Anne Shirley, Chapter 23

Taking dares is the latest fashion at Avonlea School. When Anne and her friends are playing at Diana's, the odious Josie Pye dares Anne to walk the ridgepole of the Barry house. Anne will not refuse despite Diana's pleas. She climbs onto the roof, takes a few faltering steps along the ridgepole, and falls to the ground, breaking her ankle.


After two hours of smoking and hard reflection Matthew arrived at a solution of his problem. Anne was not dressed like the other girls!

Matthew Cuthbert, Chapter 25

Matthew is shy around girls, but with Anne in the house he is sometimes forced to come into contact with them. When some of Anne's friends visit one day in early December, Matthew notices a difference between Anne and her friends "that should not exist." Suddenly he realizes her clothes are much plainer than those of the other girls. He resolves to give her a pretty dress for Christmas, although he has no idea how to find one.


I thought nothing could be as bad as red hair. But now I know it's ten times worse to have green hair.

Anne Shirley, Chapter 27

While Marilla is out at a Ladies' Aid meeting, a traveling peddler comes to the house. Anne is too curious to turn him away, and when she realizes he's selling a bottle of black hair dye, she can't resist buying it. He gives her a special price, and she rushes to apply the dye to her hair—with shocking and dreadful results.


Well now, I guess it wasn't a boy that took the Avery scholarship, was it? It was a girl—my girl—my girl that I'm proud of.

Matthew Cuthbert, Chapter 36

Matthew is getting old and tired, and Anne's just told him she wishes she had been a boy when he and Marilla adopted her. That way she could help with the farm chores now as the Cuthberts had planned. However, Matthew will hear none of it. He has been Anne's champion since the day he brought her to Green Gables. He would have been proud of Anne whatever she did, but winning the Avery scholarship is a special accomplishment. Matthew's not a big talker, so when he calls Anne "my girl," it's as if he were saying "my beloved daughter." These are the last words he says to Anne in the book; they're a splendid benediction and show his deepest love for her.


If I wear the glasses he's given me ... my eyes may not get any worse and my headaches will be cured. But if I don't ... I'll certainly be stone-blind in six months.

Marilla Cuthbert, Chapter 38

Marilla has just received this frightening diagnosis from the eye specialist who is visiting Avonlea. She has had headaches throughout the book, but they've become much worse in the previous few months. She feels as if everything in her life is falling apart. Matthew has just died, their bank has failed, and now she won't be able to do the work she loves—assuming she can even hold onto Green Gables. It's the first time Marilla has expressed true despair, and seeing her so stricken is a painful shock for Anne and the reader.


We were born to be good friends, Anne. You've thwarted destiny enough.

Gilbert Blythe, Chapter 38

Gilbert is exultant. After five years, Anne has finally made peace with him. Their long, silent rivalry is over. Now they'll both be teaching in the area and can make up for all those years of lost conversation. Underneath their rancor Gilbert and Anne have always been attracted to each other. Perhaps it's their destiny to become more than good friends.

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