• J.E Stanway

Are You Anne’s Kindred Spirit?

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Photo by Addison Horsell/Korey Horsell

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Anne speaks much of kindred spirits throughout the AOGG series and considers many of her friends and acquaintances to be such. The dictionary definition of the term is:

“A person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one’s own."

Meaning Anne deemed these individuals to be akin to her own thoughts, beliefs, and ideals to a certain extent. Most fans of this beloved novel consider themselves to be on par with Anne in personality in one way or another, so what qualities do, in Anne’s mind, determine what it means to be her kindred spirit?

Having an Imagination

Photo by Addison Horsell/Korey Horsell

“Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?" asked Anne wide-eyed.
"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss--Marilla, how much you miss!”

Imagination is a gift that not everyone can recognize, but Anne certainly kept it close to her heart. She’d spend hours imagining herself as the great Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald and putting herself into greatly romantic and pathetic situations. Her imaginative mind is how she was able to empathize and relate to many of the people in her life.

Raise your hand if you frequently imagine yourself in situations that will probably never happen. I do it to help me get to sleep at night or when I’m staring off into space (usually to cope with tedious surroundings). Even though such things may never occur, the very thought of them is lovely and enjoyable and puts your mind to work. Being able to at the minimum understand Anne’s make-believe worlds is one of the ways you are able to find true enjoyment from her character.

Seeking the Good in Others

Photo by Addison Horsell/Korey Horsell

"when people mean to be good to you, you don't mind very much when they're not quite--always."

Nowadays, looking for the best in people is not always easy, especially with social media. Many find enjoyment out of gossip, criticizing people, bragging about their privileges, or saying and sharing things that aren’t true; it’s safe to say we all have a Rachel Lynde in our lives, and it can be difficult to look beyond the surface. Anne, however, mostly tried to keep an optimistic view of her peers and acquaintances (with the exception of Gilbert for an unreasonable amount of time). She dealt with difficult people but always strived to retain a positive view of them. Take Josie Pye for example.

Anne spent years attempting to befriend Josie, and, even when she realized Josie refused to be liked, she still remained cordial and respectful towards her. Seeking the good in others can be a daunting task, but if we take a chapter from Anne's book, it may prove less difficult when we realize the person may not always recognize how their actions and sayings are being perceived.

Being Ambitious

Photo by Addison Horsell/Korey Horsell

“Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them-- that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

Having ambitions is part of the spice of life; whether it's something small like striving to read a book within a certain time frame, or something life-changing like moving to your dream home (I’ll get to PEI one day), being ambitious and having goals is what keeps life interesting and rewarding.

Anne had varied ambitions, from being the top of her class to completing teachers college within a year and to having a story published. She always filled her time with goals and aspirations, which eventually made her into the independent and strong-willed young woman she becomes later on in the books. Striving for things is part of what makes life so beautiful, and it helps us to realize our strengths, passions, and greatest loves.

Having an Appreciation for Romance

Photo by Addison Horsell/Korey Horsell

“Perhaps love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship...as a golden hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”

Having romantic notions and ideals were what made Anne who she was. She always looked at things in beautiful ways and could scarcely see something wonderful without uttering a lovely thought.

The term romance can mean many different things, whether it's being sentimental, thinking prettily about the things around you, or the literal sense of having romantic feelings for someone you love. Many may not realize how romantic they truly are; like how Matthew always had a secret love for the flowers that bloomed outside Green Gables, even though he never courted a lady or married.

Being able to think whimsical thoughts and appreciate glorious things is what being romantic really means, and, whether or not you’ve experienced a great love in your life, you can understand its loveliness just the way Anne did before she ever fell in love and was still a little girl.

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