The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 11, No 2 (2007)

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Anne of Green Gables: the transformation from Bildungsroman to romantic comedy

LaurenBeth Signore

Abstract


Anne of Green Gables tells a story of an adolescent and her gradual maturation into a young woman. In effect, Montgomery writes a Bildungsroman: a novel of maturation. Montgomery's Anne develops into a young woman who identifies with not only Matthew and Marilla, but also with all the other kindred spirits of Avonlea. As the novel progresses, Anne becomes part of the very same community that at one time did not want to embrace a little orphan girl. In Kevin Sullivan's Anne of Green Gables, a 1985 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBS) miniseries, the focus is not strictly on the formation of Anne from girl to young woman, but rather Anne's overly romantic notions on her vision of love. Sullivan's commentary adaptation exaggerates the roles of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poetic works and Gilbert Blythe's role of suitor to fulfill Anne's desire to have romance in her life. As a result, Montgomery's story of Anne as a Bildungsroman transforms to the screen as Sullivan's romantic comedy.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680