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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery

  1. Character Analysis:

    • Describe the character of Anne Shirley. What are her defining traits, and how does she evolve throughout the novel?
    • Discuss the relationships between Anne and the other characters, such as Marilla, Matthew, Diana Barry, and Gilbert Blythe. How do these relationships shape Anne's experiences and development?
  2. Themes of Imagination and Creativity:

    • Explore the theme of imagination in the novel. How does Anne's vivid imagination influence her perceptions of the world around her, and how does it help her cope with challenges and setbacks?
    • Discuss Anne's love of storytelling and writing. How does her creativity manifest in her interactions with others, and how does it contribute to her sense of self-expression?
  3. Identity and Belonging:

    • Analyze Anne's search for identity and belonging. How does her status as an orphan influence her sense of self, and how does she navigate questions of identity throughout the novel?
    • Discuss Anne's longing for a sense of belonging and acceptance. How does she find a place for herself in Avonlea, and what does she learn about the importance of community and friendship?
  4. Nature and the Environment:

    • Reflect on the role of nature and the environment in the novel, particularly the picturesque landscapes of Prince Edward Island. How does the natural beauty of Avonlea influence the characters' lives and experiences?
    • Discuss Anne's deep connection to nature and her appreciation for its beauty. How does her love of nature contribute to her sense of wonder and imagination?
  5. Friendship and Kindred Spirits:

    • Explore the theme of friendship in the novel. How does Anne form bonds of friendship with characters like Diana Barry and Matthew Cuthbert, and what role do these friendships play in her life?
    • Discuss the concept of kindred spirits in the novel. What does it mean to be a kindred spirit, and how does Anne's search for kindred spirits shape her relationships and interactions with others?
  6. Social Commentary:

    • Reflect on the social commentary embedded in the novel, particularly regarding gender roles, education, and societal expectations. How does Anne challenge traditional notions of femininity and womanhood, and what messages does the novel convey about independence and self-determination?
    • Discuss the portrayal of education and learning in the novel. How does Anne's enthusiasm for learning and self-improvement reflect the importance of education in empowering individuals and shaping their futures?
  7. Humor and Heartwarming Moments:

    • Explore the humor and heartwarming moments in the novel. What are some of your favorite comedic scenes or memorable moments, and how do they contribute to the overall charm of the story?
    • Discuss the balance between humor and heartfelt emotion in the novel, and how L.M. Montgomery's writing style captures the joys and challenges of Anne's journey.
  8. Legacy and Enduring Impact:

    • Reflect on the enduring impact of "Anne of Green Gables" as a beloved classic of children's literature. Why do you think the novel continues to resonate with readers of all ages, generations after its publication?
    • Discuss the legacy of Anne Shirley as a literary character and cultural icon. How has Anne's character influenced popular culture, and what lessons can readers continue to learn from her story?
  9. Adaptations and Interpretations:

    • Explore the various adaptations and interpretations of "Anne of Green Gables" in other media, such as film, television, and stage productions. How do these adaptations compare to the original novel, and what aspects of Anne's character and story do they emphasize?
  10. Personal Reflections:

    • Reflect on your own experience reading "Anne of Green Gables." What aspects of the novel resonated with you personally, and why?
    • Discuss how the themes, characters, and messages of the novel have impacted your understanding of friendship, imagination, and the pursuit of identity and belonging.

Lucy Maud Montgomery, better known by her pen name L.M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author born on November 30, 1874, in Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, Canada. She was the daughter of Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill. After the death of her mother when she was just 21 months old, Montgomery was raised by her maternal grandparents in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

Montgomery's love for writing and storytelling developed at a young age, and she began writing poetry and short stories during her teenage years. Despite facing personal challenges and struggles with depression, Montgomery pursued her passion for writing and eventually attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she studied literature and education.

Montgomery's breakthrough came in 1908 when her first novel, "Anne of Green Gables," was published. The novel, which tells the story of Anne Shirley, an imaginative and spirited orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert on their farm in Avonlea, became an instant success and remains one of Canada's most iconic literary works. The novel was inspired by Montgomery's own childhood experiences growing up on Prince Edward Island.

Following the success of "Anne of Green Gables," Montgomery continued to write prolifically, producing numerous sequels and other works, including "Anne of Avonlea" (1909), "Anne of the Island" (1915), and "Anne's House of Dreams" (1917), among others. The Anne series follows the adventures and coming-of-age journey of Anne Shirley, captivating readers with its charming characters, picturesque setting, and timeless themes of friendship, imagination, and the search for identity.

In addition to the Anne series, Montgomery wrote a wide range of novels, short stories, and poetry, exploring themes such as love, family, and the beauty of nature. Her works often draw inspiration from her own experiences and observations of life on Prince Edward Island.

Despite her literary success, Montgomery faced personal challenges throughout her life, including struggles with mental health and the pressures of fame and public scrutiny. She married Ewan Macdonald, a Presbyterian minister, in 1911, and the couple had two sons.

Lucy Maud Montgomery passed away on April 24, 1942, at the age of 67, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Despite her death, Montgomery's literary legacy lives on, and her works continue to enchant readers of all ages around the world. Today, she is celebrated as one of Canada's most beloved and iconic authors, and her contributions to literature have earned her a lasting place in literary history.


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