"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Answers for AoGG Discussion Part 2

1. What is one of your favorite parts of the book?

All of Anne’s mishaps. Nothing seemed to compare, and they just kept going. It made me laugh so much. I think accidentally getting Diana drunk was my favorite of them all.

2. What is one of your least favorite parts of the book?

It took me forever to get used to how much Anne talks. In fact, I couldn’t get beyond the first couple of chapters on my first try. But a few months later, someone convinced me to try again. I’m glad I did. As she talked less, I liked her more. There’s an irony for you—perhaps that’s why I annoyed my own self while growing up. And still do!

3. Who is your favorite character and why?

Matthew. So kind, sweet, tender gentle, patient, and all things good.

4. Who is your least favorite character and why?

I guess Josie. Though Rachel used to really bug me with her know-it-all, gossipy ways. At least her ways were a bit more kindly intended than Josie’s.

5. What do you think of L. M. Montgomery's writing style? (Think Mr. Harrison from Anne of Avonlea, if you've read it.)

I loved it so much! And it’s a chicken-and-the-egg thing to figure out just how much Montgomery’s writing style influenced my own. Of course, that's a love-hate relationship right there.

6. Have you met anyone in your life who had similar traits and qualities to characters from the book?

There were times growing up that I felt my mother was very much Marilla—extremely practical and no-nonsense. At least, compared with my over-reactive, silly personality. But I also knew she very much loved me.

I have had many tell me I have a lot of similarities to Anne. And yet I was always “made” to be Diana because of my dark hair. The curse of not having red hair!

7. Which character do you relate to the most?

There are many times I think it’s Anne. Getting caught up in the loveliness of everything, being a bit scatterbrained, doing well in school (and enjoying that), being overly fanciful. That's another love-hate thing there. I wish I could be more practical like Diana or Marilla. Or more kind-hearted, loving, and accepting like Matthew

8. Which character do you relate to the least?

Gilbert. I know, it’s terrible. I just don’t feel I know him very well in the first book. Happily that changes as the series goes on.

9. If you were Marilla, would you have kept Anne--knowing how much a boy was needed and seeing...well, what you did of Anne up to that point?

Honestly, I don’t think I would have. Until, like her, meeting Mrs. Bluett.

10. Have you read the prequel to Anne of Green Gables? What did you think of it? Did you think the author did a good job in staying true to Anne? Did you like what the author did in and with the story?

This was my GoodReads review of the book:
** spoiler alert ** A prequel to a well-loved series? I was a bit skeptical. But after seeing it advertised in so many review journals, I figured no true fan who also works in a library would pass up reading it to at least know how well it was done and be able to recommend it or not. I checked it out from another library system. It was not an engrossing read, but it was calm and gentle flow and style which I liked reading at my leisure. Didn't expect it to take me 3 weeks to read it. But oh well.

I think Wilson did an excellent job. It was her own style while still being true to Montgomery. You could slightly tell with various references/topics/handling of subjects that it was a book written of a time 100 years ago instead of a book from 100 years ago about its current time. However, the time period was apparently well researched. And I loved that Wilson received permission and encouragement from Montgomery's heirs to work on the prequel.

What surprised me--an avid Anne-Fan--was how well connected the prequel was to the series, particularly the first book. For example, I remember Katie Maurice. I figured Violetta was someone Wilson made up. I checked Anne of Green Gables. I was wrong. Anne talks about Violetta, too. Or that there were two other children besides Mrs. Hammond's 3 sets of twins. It wasn't made up--Anne mentioned the 8 children in the original book. I liked that Wilson stuck so closely to these details.

And while there are some aspects of Anne's past that I may have envisioned differently in my own imagination, Wilson's version in no way hurts or detracts from it. They are both good and I am happy to have both at my disposal to think on

11. If you were Anne, would you have gone as long as you did before forgiving Gilbert?

Unfortunately, I am one to hold on to anger when it was someone else’s actions. However, I would like to think that I’m more forgiving once the offending party has gotten past my Don’t-even-think-of-speaking-to-me exterior and explained/apologized sincerely. It may take a while for the hurt feelings to go away, but I do not like being angry with others. And I do not like being at odds with anyone. Once I can blow that steam off, I’m all about making amends (if necessary) and making the relationship stronger.

I believe the longest I’ve ever been angry and unforgiving towards someone else was, well, a couple of years. But only because I was not confronted with the person until later and realized that it was silly I was still holding on to something that was long past and not horribly detrimental. While it was never spoken of again, and she certainly didn’t apologize (I often wonder if she even realized what had happened), all was forgiven. Typically, my anger lasts only for a few hours or even a couple of days. A week or more and it’s pretty bad, but also very rare.

12. Did you ever have friendly--or unfriendly--competitions with others in school?

There was a friendly one with my Jr. High bosom friend. I didn’t even realize it was there until she kept bringing it up. I probably should have felt bad that my good grades in those years came rather naturally with not too much studying. She worked so hard to get the grades she did. I think she stressed herself more than necessary and probably would have done better if she’d eased up a little.

I think I had a lot of other friendly rivalries with others during the elementary and jr. high days—some with close gal friends, some with good guy friends. It was usually in mocking fun, but I did pretty well. I think the most prominent one was in 6th grade and the weekly spelling bees we had. I think I won all but one or two. It was fun to finally have people want to be on my team!

13. What think ye of the movie adaptation(s) for this book?

Heh heh. Well, that’s a couple of posts right there. I’ll just say that I enjoy the standard movies we all know of. (Yes—even the dreadful 3rd one. I have my reasons. One day I will write them up.) I have whole-heartedly avoided any of the cartoon versions. Just because. And having now seen the 70s movie version of the 2nd and 3rd books, I wish the 70s version of the 1st weren’t missing. But the 1st Megan Follows film is wonderful and one I can watch repeatedly. (As recently as last week, in fact.) However, I’m glad that it did not influence the Anne world that I created in my imagination.

14. Have you read other books in the series? What are some of your thoughts? (I know, I know. A separate discussion could be had for each of those!)

I’ve read them all. I love them all! (OK, there are a couple that were less appealing than others. But I still enjoyed them.) My two favorites are #3 and #8. It was my happiest discovery that summer of ’94 when I went into the BYU bookstore and saw 8 lovely colored books in a box that were all about Anne. My exclamations of “There are more?!” were instantly followed by my purchase of said books. And the rest truly is history.

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