The Quotable Anne: Kindred Spirits and Hospitality

This past summer I have been rereading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. These books have been very helpful to me these past months. While I’ve been learning new roles, meeting new people, and discovering new places, the cheerful, positive,ย  and contented tone of these books has been very beneficial during this somewhat chaotic time of life–which is why I’m not quite ready to give them up just yet. But rather than reread them from the beginning, I’ve decided to do a blogging series on some of the quotes that best capture the lessons and aura of the books.

Today, I’d like to point out two quotes from the first book in the series, Anne of Green Gables, both of which touch on one of the major themes in the series.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think (Montgomery 1992, 159).”

After living a life of hardship in her early years (yet staying optimistic all the while), Anne Shirley has always dreamed of having close friends. With her experience thus far, finding friends had seemed a most miraculous thing. So, when she comes to Avonlea and discovers kindred spirits in some of the most surprising souls, Anne is delighted.

“You can never tell about people from their outsides (Montgomery 1992, 299).”

Marilla says this about herself after revealing her almost-love story of the past to Anne. Even unsuspecting Marilla, so hardworking and sensible on the outside, had a bit of romance in her.

Both of these quotes reflect a theme that appears throughout the entire series, which is that…

Every individual is more than he/she appears to be, but what is hidden underneath might not be discovered until someone makes an effort to break through the outside barrier.

The someone who often makes this effort in the Anne of Green Gables series is Anne herself. Of course, breaking barriers isn’t Anne’s chief goal. She simply has an inquisitive spirit and delights in discovering kindred spirits. She certainly discovers many kindred spirits throughout her life, some of them very unlikely. Here are a few: Matthew and Marilla, Mrs. Allen, Diana Barry, Josephine Barry, Miss Lavender Lewis, Paul Irving, Philippa Gordon, Katherine Brooke, Little Elizabeth, Rebecca Dew, Leslie Moore, Owen Ford, Captain Jim, Miss Cornelia…

I think my favorite discovery of a kindred spirit must be Katherine Brooke. Stubborn Katherine Brooke–unyielding, impossible to break. Yet Anne stubbornly tries to be her friend, until at last Katherine yields. This person who had been starved of friendship ends up going back to school and traveling the world like she had always dreamed of doing. Though this is my second read of these books, I had forgotten the end of Katherine’s story and rediscovering it made me SO happy.

Even though these are light-hearted, cheering reads, I do believe that some of the messages can flow over into real life. Fiction, after all, does contain some truth interwoven in its stories, which is one reason I love reading so much.

In church a couple months ago, my pastor was talking about the difference between “giving” and “hospitality.” Giving, he explained, was sending something to someone else. Hospitality, on the other hand, means bringing that someone closer.

One thing I love about Anne Shirley is that she has such a hospitable spirit. She makes herself available to people as a friend and welcomes them wholeheartedly into her life. This is one thing I wish I was better at. Simply giving is a lot easier because it requires very little inconvenience and brings about no embarrassment or uncomfortable vulnerability. But as the Anne series shows, reaching out for kindred spirits is worth it in the end!

~~~

While reading the series, I noted several quotes that popped out at me, but I will only be discussing a few of them on my blog. However, I will display and briefly discuss more quotes my blog’s Instagram. Check them out by following “beautyandthemessblog” on Instagram or simply look at the side bar on my page!

References

Montgomery, L.M. 1992. Anne of Green Gables. New York: Bantam Books.

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