“Scope for the Imagination”:  Imaginative Spaces and Female Agency in Anne of Green Gables

Lauren Makrancy

Abstract


Within the canon of children’s literature, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables stands out for its spirited heroine Anne Shirley and her lively imagination. An orphan who has lived an “unloved life” full of “drudgery, poverty, and neglect,” Anne has developed her imagination as a coping mechanism and as a means of survival. Throughout the novel, Montgomery reveals that Anne’s imagination is a powerful entity that is intricately connected to place; as a result, Anne is able to reconfigure the physical world that she sees until it reflects her idealistic imaginings.
By analyzing Anne’s imaginative elsewhere through Rose’s theoretical lens, one can see how truly progressive Anne is as a paradoxical figure who consistently possesses agency and actualizes her hopes and dreams into concrete realities.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680