Ann of Green Gables : Chapters 13-14
Chapter 13, pp. 85-89
One August afternoon, Marilla is aggravated that Anne has not come home by the time Marilla had told her to be home to do her sewing. Anne comes in with news about a Sunday School picnic the next week, and she asks if she may attend it. Marilla, first, scolds Anne for coming home late, but then she agrees to let Anne go to the picnic, and when Anne expresses concern about bringing a basket of food like the other girls, Marilla assures her she will make a basket of food for her. Anne kisses Marilla on the cheek, a gesture that secretly pleases Marilla, who covers her surge of feeling by reminding Anne that she needs to learn cooking skills soon. However, she fears Anne could not keep her mind on the cooking. She sets Anne to working on her patchwork square sewing right now, though.
After grumbling a bit—she does not like patchwork—Anne holds forth about the plans she and Diana have made for creating and furnishing a playhouse.
As the week progresses, Anne grows more and more excited—and overwrought—about the picnic, and Marilla worries that she feels things too keenly. She warns Anne that she may experience a lot of disappointments in life because she sets her sights on things so wholeheartedly. Anne, however, says that anticipating things is fun, even if things do not always work out.
On Sunday, Marilla wears her prized amethyst brooch to church, and she returns it to her bureau top, as usual. The brooch contains a lock of her mother’s hair and is very special to her. Anne greatly admires the brooch and asks to hold it.
The way Anne does everything from the heart—and wholeheartedly—also has a down side, as Marilla observes. She becomes too wrapped up in her hopes and dreams, a dangerous tendency that Marilla understands might lead Anne to feel disappointments too keenly, to the point of affecting her health. Anne does not see the danger of embracing everything so fully.
Chapter 14, pp. 90-98
On the Monday before the picnic, Marilla cannot find her brooch on the bureau where she laid it. When she asks Anne if she has seen it, Anne admits she touched it, but she swears she put it right back. Marilla goes to check again, but the brooch is still nowhere to be found. She accuses Anne of lying. When Anne defends herself with some spirit, Marilla feels she is being disrespectful. She sends Anne to her room and ruminates on how terrible it is to have a child who lies and cannot be trusted.
Matthew, however, does not believe Anne would lie to them about such a thing, but he is secretly relieved he is not the one who has to deal with the situation.
When Anne still does not confess to taking the brooch, Marilla says she must stay in her room until she does confess, even if she has to miss the picnic. Anne is disconsolate over missing that much-anticipated event.
On Wednesday morning, Anne tells Marilla she is finally ready to confess her crime. She describes how she took the brooch and left the house, pretending she was the Lady Cordelia wearing a lovely jewel, but as she crossed over the bridge to The Lake of Shining Waters, the brooch slipped off and into the water. Marilla is angry at the loss of the brooch and at Anne for losing it and lying about it to begin with. She calls Anne a “‘the wickedest girl I ever heard of.’” Anne agrees, then says, “‘It’ll be your duty to punish me, Marilla.’”
After this confession Marilla grows even angrier. When she positively forbids Anne from going to the picnic, Anne blurts out that she made up the confession so Marilla would let her attend the picnic after her punishment. She becomes distraught over not being able to attend, and Marilla begins to think that maybe Mrs. Lynde was right about the risk of taking in orphans.
At noon, Anne refuses to come down for supper, although she does tell Marilla that she forgives her. Marilla pours out her troubles to Matthew, who takes Anne’s side and recommends Anne be allowed to go to the picnic. After supper, Marilla sits down to mend a tear in her black lace shawl, and there she finds the brooch, caught in the shawl. Immediately she goes to apologize to Anne, who tells Marilla she had tried to concoct a really interesting confession and had practiced it until she memorized every detail of it. At that confession, Marilla cannot help but laugh. Then she tells Anne she can go to the picnic that day.
Anne returns home that evening full of chatter about the picnic. After she is off to bed, Marilla confides in Matthew that “‘I believe [Anne will] turn out all right yet. And there’s one thing certain, no house will ever be dull that she’s in.’”
Although Anne is the one being brought up by Marilla, it is Marilla who is also learning from Anne. Anne may have a temper and a stubborn streak, as well as an intense desire to have things the way she imagines they should be, but she does not use those qualities for evil. Marilla makes the mistake of stereotyping Anne as a bad child simply because she is an orphan. What she discovers, however, is that Anne cannot be stereotyped. Anne is unique—and sincere and honest—if overly dramatic. Her intent in actually lying to Marilla was to get justice without disrespecting Marilla’s judgment, even if it made her look guilty of a crime she did not commit.
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