You all know how much I love Jane Austen's stories. I could gush and rave over them for hours, and I do think they are all wonderful stories with really nice romantic endings and delightful happily-ever-afters. But if I could take one story and make it my own, out of all the stories I've ever read/watched, I would want to be "Anne of Green Gables." (Warning, spoilers ahead!)
I have some striking similarities to Anne - the sense of dramatic, overly romantic and excessively imaginative qualities all fit me. However, I am unnaturally happy with my red hair, and I am perfectly satisfied to be Elizabeth Ann - without an 'e.' No, there's a different reason that I would like to be Anne, more important than our common traits or the characteristics that I admire in her.
Of course, living in the early 1900's would be really fun, and Green Gables is a lovely farm in a beautiful place, but the main reason I would love to be Anne is because of Gilbert. He loves her so loyally, from the very first moment he saw her (as he claims in the movie, it's been way too long since I read the books) when she was newly arrived and first came to school. Unfortunately, he calls her "carrots" in an attempt to get her attention and incurs her wrath. And so begins the long grudge that Anne holds against him.
|"Carrots" and mischievous Gilbert.|
After breaking a slate over his head, Anne goes on to treat him with coldness and contempt. He is the recipient of her determined dislike for just a bit of teasing, but he continues to work for her friendship, apologizing again and again for that one little mistake that cost him for so long. He has the opportunity to rescue her from a bridge piling when one of her imaginative and dramatic adventures goes wrong, and she is not very grateful, but he pleads with her to forgive him and finally be friends. And to my relief, she does.
But once they are friends, poor Gilbert is "friend-zoned" by Anne, and she can't picture him as her romantic suitor. He doesn't fit her imaginative fancies: tall, dark, irresistibly handsome and melancholy (although I think he fits all but "melancholy"!). He is a faithful friend, and pursues her diligently, through misunderstandings and quarrels. He proposes, and she refuses him. In chorus with Diana, I say, "Oh Anne, how could you?!?" Again, he speaks with her, says he will wait for her, if she'll give him even the slightest chance and yet she just breaks his heart. A year later, he tries to move on and becomes engaged to someone else, but ultimately can't do it, and breaks it off.
At this point, I would be a weepy mess if I didn't know what happened.
Thankfully, Anne eventually realizes that she does love Gilbert, although it takes him lying on what could be his death-bed with scarlet fever. She visits him, he recovers soon after, proposes AGAIN and Anne finally accepts. "I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls - I just want you."
There are so many wonderful things about Anne of Green Gables, but I think my favorite part is Gil. He is such a honest, sweet, loyal guy. I'd be thrilled to have a fellow like him in love with me (and I sure wouldn't want to refuse him twice first, like Anne did)! What girl could resist a man who so persistently and lovingly pursues her, forgiving her many flaws and frequent unkindness? He loved her so steadfastly, and was a true friend to her, no matter what. It reminds me of my Savior, and the selfless, sacrificial love He shows us. I already have my dream romance!
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8