MovieChat Forums > Anne of Green Gables Discussion > Anne and Gilbert (as well as some other ...

Anne and Gilbert (as well as some other issues)

Why did it take her so long to forgive him? (it seemed a bit out of character for her and one could argue that his teasing was not malicious, though he did strike a nerve, as she was very sensitive about her hair). Perhaps this was sign that she was actually interested in him from the very beginning - we tend to hold the people we expect a lot from/desire to get know better to a higher standard than those we do not care so much about?

Also, Anne states that she doesn’t like her red hair, but she actually seems to value it and implicitly recognizes that it is a unique gift, i.e. she is easily offended whenever someone utters disparaging remarks about it.

Anne is quite good-looking…why was Gilbert the only one who seemed to have a crush on her in high school? Moreover, it’s strange that there were no rivalry issues between Anne and Diana (especially given that the latter was also attracted to Gilbert).

In addition, I find it weird that a grown woman like Rachel Lynde would comment on Anne’s hair colour in such a way…..Red hair is certainly rare, but it’s not that unusual among Celtic and Scandinavian people (in the 1900s there must have been more redheads as a percentage of the population in Canada compared to today), so it’s odd that this particular aspect would attract so much attention. In addition, in certain scenes Marilla’s hair appeared reddish as well (probably due to differences in the lighting), so Rachel was certainly threading on thin ice there, as she was bound to alienate Marilla as well :D Adults did seem to act irrationally on quite a few occasions (not sure to what extent this was an accurate depiction of the mentality of the people in the early 20th century), i.e. arguably Diana’s mother made mountains out of molehills when her daughter became drunk and the farmer was rather high-strung when it came to the issue of trespassing.


Anne was very, very sensitive about her hair. Of course, it was immature of her to stay angry at him for so long, but she was very young (only eleven in the book) and she blew it out of proportion. It also got to the point where, as the years went by, it was more a matter of stubbornness than anger over the original insult. She couldn't bring herself to forgive him because it would have meant admitting she was wrong and she felt it was "too late" for them to go back and start over. In the scene after he rescues her in the boat, she wants to forgive him (in both the book and the movie) but can't quite bring herself to do it. The book makes it clear that she later regrets this decision. Another thing the book makes clear, which I think the movie is misleading about, is that Anne thought that Gilbert hated her as much as she hated him (or, perhaps not hated, but certainly disliked). For example, in the scene where she gives her recitation, she has stage fright when she gets up to speak, sees Gilbert smiling, and assumes he's rooting for her to fail. (Of course, in fact he was only smiling because he was looking forward to seeing her recite and thought she looked pretty.)

She's offended when people disparage her red hair, not because she likes it, but because she's so sensitive about it. It's one of those things where she can complain about her looks all she wants, but gets hurt when other people say the same things, even if she shares the same opinion. I think most people are that way. If I was sensitive about my weight, I might complain about it all the time, but if someone else calls me fat, you think I won't get angry with them?

Other boys did have crushes on Anne, such as Charlie Sloane. The movie simply spends more time focusing on Gil because he's more important. It's also worth noting that Anne, with her red hair and her skinniness and her freckles, wouldn't have been considered a conventional beauty, as opposed to Diana or Ruby Gillis. That is part of why Anne is so sensitive about her looks.

There is some tension between Anne and Diana, but for the most part Diana was a very compromising friend and didn't want to get in Anne's way. Arguably, she was a bit too much of a doormat in that regard. But I imagine if she had been more seriously interested in Gilbert, she would have gone after him more. As it was, she didn't think her friendship with Anne was worth ruining over a crush.

Rachel Lynde was a very outspoken woman who said the first thing that came into her head whether it was rude or not. Red hair was, as I said, considered less attractive, and it certainly was striking (it doesn't have to be absolutely unheard-of to be comment-worthy) and so she said the first thing that came to mind. Marilla's hair was not meant to be red, though it may have looked that way in certain lights, but I doubt it would have mattered to Mrs. Lynde anyway. She was definitely being obnoxious, but then adults sometimes do act in irrational or obnoxious ways. Everyone does. I don't think it's far-fetched to imagine a mother acting like Diana's over her 13-year-old daughter coming home drunk (especially in an age when decorum was much more important), and so on.


@Luanna255, thank you so much for the very thorough response, you bring forth many excellent points!

I have never read the books, so it's refreshing to get some better insights into the major characters and the way their outlooks change. It seems as if in the film Gilbert is rather quick to mature (and drops the bravado) when it comes to his interactions with Anne, but once you realize that the animosity is not completely one-sided, you are better able to understand why Anne reacts in a certain way.

Indeed, I try to be self-critical, but also tend to be highly strung, so don't always respond well to criticism/disparaging comments from others.

Redheads tend to slip under the radar (when compared to blondes and brunettes)in many novels and films, so I could see how Anne does not tick all the boxes when it comes to the notion of "conventional beauties".

As for the adults, I thought that parents in the early 20th century were less likely to be worried about the activities of their children (e.g. kids were usually expected to start working from a relatively early age and sometimes even fend for themselves) and allowed them more independence (relative to contemporary parent figures), but I realize how drunkenness could be associated with bad character/ruin the reputation of families!



Sorry for late response but just watched the film again and it is many years since I read the books. Re hair colour, I can agree with your comment about flying under the radar. What about beautiful Rita Hayworth? But she was not a natural redhead, though.
I am a redhead too and have to say that people comment ALL the time. When I was a kid, I met many Rachel Lynde's! People commented like I was deaf. Not to mention the stereotypical behaviour that is assumed and is linked with the hair colour. I was never a light colour like Anne's, but was always an auburn shade.

I was the only redhead in my whole family of brunettes, and have two red haired children (my husband's dad had red hair too)who experience the same thing. At school teachers on playground duty would say things like, "you, the one with the red hair" etc. I always found it interesting and tiresome at the same time. I never heard that used for blondes or brunettes.

And nicknames! It seems everyone has a name for a redhead.
Carrots (very common...yawn)Carrot top (more as a noun, which is stupid because they are green!), Blue (very Australian because blue is the opposite of red), Megs (as in Ginger Megs, the comic character, Match (sure you get that one), Strawberry Blonde (IMO idiotic)Redbloke (my Dad's favourite and pet name for me), Red Robin (no explanation needed for that one). The Brits say Ginger (see above).

Then we have the latest trend with Ranga (my personal pet hate)because no-one likes to be called a monkey-inspired name.

But, my personal favourite is Bushfire Blonde.

Can anyone add to my list?


I was occasionally called "blood nut" when I was a child, along with Bluey. A beloved aunt called me "Golden Top", but one of the things that really annoyed me was being told I sunbaked under a tea strainer by some boys at school.

Growing up I hated having red hair, but once I got to about 17 or 18 and it was really long (past my waist), I was rather proud of my Celtic blood and my red hair.

My husband is Lebanese by birth and has/had black hair, but both our children are red (albeit with brown eyes, whereas mine are hazel).


Oh, how could I have forgotten Blood Nut!! Never got Bluey though, it is more reserved for blokes here in Australia.

Sorry to laugh, but 'sunbaked under a tea strainer?' You have to admit it is original! I never, ever hated having red hair, mine was 'simply beautiful' so I was told endlessly, I just hated being singled out because of it. My daughter is married to an Egyptian, he has lovely black hair and olive skin and brown eyes, so I guess you have given me some insight into what appearance characteristics my future grandchildren will have. Thanks for sharing.


pc, I'm in Oz too :-) It was the garbos who called me "Bluey" when I was just a nipper - I would peek over the top of the back fence (having climbed the cross-railings) when they went down the back lane to empty the bins and they'd call out "g'day Bluey". I suppose they didn't know if I was a boy or a girl because they could only see the top half of my head ;-)

Mum expected my children to have my husband's colouring too and when I went into hospital to have our first child she said "Susan, they're not going to believe this child is yours", so you can imagine her delight when he was born a red-head :-). When my daughter was also born a red-head, my father was absolutely ecstatic to not only finally get a grand-daughter after having only grandsons, but a red-headed grand-daughter at that! :-) I love my children's red hair (as does my husband - they do stand out from the rest of their cousins on my husband's side of the family).


I have been told that my hair looks like liquid honey in a glass jar held up to the sun :) My hair really changes colour depending on lighting though. I'm what you might call a 'Day Walker" as well


Just to clarify Ernest, the story does not take place in the early 20th century. Or at least not in the novel. I believe it's supposed to be somewhere around the 1880s. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.


I thought it was the 1890's.


If you go backwards from Rilla of Ingleside then Anne was born in 1865 and Anne of Green Gables starts in 1876. Here's a good timeline someone put together
Having said that, there are inconsistencies within the books, for example, the fashions L.M. Montgomery describes are very 1890s ie the puffed sleeves, they would have been wearing bustles in the 1870s, I believe there are also several cultural references that are more closely related to the 1890s as well. When they made these films they chose to start in the late 1890s (funnily enough Anne and Gilbert should be married and have several children by this point canonically speaking) and go forward from there which is why the 3rd movie has Anne and Gilbert in WWI and not their children because tv movie Anne and Gilbert are not old enough to have adult children in WWI.
I for one, think it would have been interesting to see the show set in the correct time periods but then I would have liked to see Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside and I suspect I maybe alone in that.

Freedom of religion means ALL religions not just your own.


I believe you mean to say that Diana's crush on Gilbert wasn't worth ruining her friendship with Anne for.

The scene with the recitation shows Anne getting her courage to start right after seeing Josie Pye looking smug or very vindictively with a glance over to Gilbert as if she's thinking "Just watch her mess it up, Gilbert! You'll be wondering why you liked her in the first place!"


In the 2nd movie, Diana says, "I even steered clear of Gilbert because of you."

That said, remember near the end of the first movie when she and Anne are by the seashore, and Diana seems to be testing Anne by bringing up Gilbert and how handsome he is?


Diana asked Anne "Don't you think he's handsome?" when they first met, in the first part of the first movie.

When they are standing by the seashore in the second half of the first movie, just after the recital at the White Sands, Diana says "Sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to him, Anne. Blame me if you want." I don't think Diana was being mischievous in not relaying Anne's message to him, but rather she just didn't get to speak to him. He left early, which also didn't help.


I've read almost everything Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote, and a lot of her characters held long grudges against each other. It was just a part of her novels and short stories.

JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen


Just watched it again and was struck by how unlike this film was to the books in so many ways. There certainly was another boy who liked her in the books, for one thing.


You are so right. I kept waiting for Royal (Roy) Gardiner to appear, and he never did. I could almost recite parts of the books off by heart; I loved them so much. Less the first one, though on rereading it quite recently, as an older adult I could relate much more to Marilla and "see" her wry smiles at some of Anne's antics. I am interested in reading comments about the more recent movie at how much people identify with the Megan Fellow's version; I only remember some bits (and mostly the bits that weren't the same as in the books!).