Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Anne, Anne, Anne

By the way, it IS going to be a wind chill of -30 in my fair city today.

Out of fresh reading material (after The Namesake, the only other book that jumped out at me was one about using common household products to make fantastically cheap cleaning products, and that's more of a page-through than a page-turner), I inexplicably picked back up Anne of Windy Poplars, the fourth book in the Anne of Green Gables series. For those of you who weren't avid Anne-ers, that's the one when she's a principal at Summerside while Gilbert is finishing medical school.

DON'T GET IT CONFUSED WITH THE SECOND ANNE OF GREEN GABLES MOVIE, which has an infuriating flirtation with an old dude when Anne is the principal! That doesn't happen! Roy Gardiner, the real "almost fiance," is much easier to swallow than the loser-y rich old guy who likes Anne because she's nice to his crochety old mom and his abandoned daughter.

Anyway, even though I've read it a hundred times (ok, exaggeration: I have NOT read it as many times as I've read Gone With the Wind, and I've read that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 times), I guess I never really thought about the TIME FRAME we're talking about. The book is mainly comprised of Anne's letters to Gilbert for the THREE YEARS BETWEEN ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE. What shocked me was not the three-year-engagement, it was the fact that it was OUT OF THE QUESTION for them to be married while Gilbert was going to medical school, and OUT OF THE QUESTION for them to live in the same city. Anne had to go principal her ass a hundred miles away, and just see Gilbert when they both went back to Avonlea for the holidays.


This book always used to be the balm I soothed over myself after the tumult and drama of Anne of the Island when I spent most of the novel worrying about whether or not, THIS TIME, Anne would realize that she was in love with Gilbert. But is it REALLY satisfying just to KNOW they both feel the same way about each other and have AGREED to be married when there's a THREE YEAR TIME AND DISTANCE LAG between the proposal (so romantic!) on the bridge and the eventual walking-down-the-stairs-at-Green-Gables and the House of Dreams?

Different times, y'all, and different morals. I do not envy Anne and Gilbert their three year separation, but I do envy their box of long letters to each other for that time apart. And yes, I am talking about them as if they existed. Didn't they?


Emily said...

Are you in some way indicating that they do not actually exist? Because I definitely function with the understanding that they do. I was thinking that the perfect track out activity for me would be a little AOGG action in book and movie form and you've inspired me.

It's a plan!

Rando said...

They had to live in different towns on principle?

kristine said...

Rando--no, not on principle, on the mandate of LM Montgomery. WHY DID SHE DO THAT TO THEM?!

Rando said...

LM is sadistic? Anne & the dude should have agreed to the terms of "living in different towns" and then moved to neighbo(u)ring towns and hung out and watched movies (read the weird Canadian edition Bible by candle light*) in one anothers' basement every night.

*There were no movies in olden times, just Bibles.