AnnE with an E’s stroy is adopted from the novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published in 1908.
Synopsis of the Show
Set in the 1900s, AnnE with an E is about an orphan girl who ends up in a foster house by mistake, where they were expecting a boy. Anne is a girl with great perception about the world but she didn’t get much chance to explore or enjoy the wonders of it. She loves to talk a lot and until now her only friends were books. So she talks in a more poetic way than the others. At first one of the foster parent who came to fetch her from the train station was not happy about adopting a girl where he clearly hoping for a boy. But he couldn’t leave her there, so he takes her home anyway. In that journey, through the beautiful country side, we will get to know Anne. At the time they get home he (Matthew) is fixed on keeping her as his child.
Matthew is an unmarried man like his sister Marilla whom he is living with, and she is not happy about adopting a girl either. Marilla is fixed on returning Anne to the orphanage the very next day. Regardless of Anne’s total disappointment and her begging for stay, Marilla takes her to the orphanage the next morning. She didn’t talk much that through the journey. At her own words she is “in the depths of despair”. When they get to Anne’s foster home Marilla seem concerned about her living situations and brought her right back to their house. Marilla gave Anne a trial period of a week to prove her.
Things are been quite good and Marilla is not hundred percent sure about the adoption. Then she finds out her brooch been missing and she suspected Anne for it. She confronts Anne for stealing the brooch and sends her away for good this time. After a few days she Marilla finds the brooch from her room and she felt guilty for her actions. Matthew immediately went to search for Anne and he finds her and brought her home after a few days of searching.
Show with a Soul
Despite of being a light heated show, AnnE with an E is an exceptional piece of art. Of course the story develops through the eyes of 12 year old girl but the show discusses about a lot of subjects which are relevant even now like racism, bullying, LGBTQ+, sexism, suicide, poverty, slavery, death, depression, harassment, censorship, illness, teen pregnancy, being orphan, discrimination etc.
In a time, where being gay is illegal, the show talks about aunt Josaphine, an old lady mourning the loss of her “best friend”, whom she were living with all these years. When her niece finds out that they were not just friends she couldn’t even fathom the idea of being in love with the same sex. But, aunt Josaphine is an upper class lady, so the legality of her living situation with her “friend” is not being questioned by anyone. On the other hand, there is Cole, Anne’s classmate, who suffers with his sexuality. He thinks that there is someting wrong with him. And he is too afraid to even talk about it.
There is no slavery shown in the show, in fact, slavery ended before the shows time period. But people are having a real hard time adjusting with the fact that there are free black people in the country. Sebastian, a black man, coming to Anne’s village with his friend Gilbert. The people in Avonlea did not experienced such a thing in their life. Shock and prejudice was their first reaction. Sebastian has been misunderstood as a servant of Gilbert by the people. Not only the white people but also the black people are forget how to socialise. When Sebastian’s mom came to stay with him, she is acting strange around other white people. She is still afraid of white people to casually socialise.
AnnE with an E simply showed the after effects of slavery in two different person’s perspectives. Its not like slavery is over one day and everything is back to normal in the next day. Some people lived their whole life as a servant. They don’t know how to live free. It took a lot of getting-used-to for them to adjust with other people.
Girls didn’t have any rights back then. Their only option in life is to marry someone and bear children for them. And they didn’t have the freedom to choose the man. The whole concept of sexism and gender equality is shown through various characters including Anne.
Miss Stacy, a young and modern lady who rides motor bikes, came as a new teacher for the school. Even the group of progressive mothers are not willing to accept the new and innovative teaching techniques of Miss Stacy. Mrs. Lynde, member of a male dominated committee, in which she doesn’t have any right to speak freely. Diana, best friend of Anne, a girl who being forced by their parents to study and follow the rules of being a good house wife. Jocye, classmate of Anne, a girl who being assaulted sexually by her “boy friend” and when everybody knows about this, her reputation is being ruined.
Aspect of Love
AnnE with an E talks talks not only about the social issues but also about love. Not just about the romantic love but the others. Marilla rejects all her personal happiness for raising her brother Matthew. Gilbert share his house with his acquired family Sebastian & Mary despite of their color. Matthew loving Anne as his own daughter. And romantic love between Anne and Gilbert. Like in real life, all romance will not end successfully. Matthew and Marilla each have a long lost love they sacrificed for their family. Even when Matthew got a chance to connect with his love, he chooses family.
Of course the characters are not perfect. Marilla having a sexual tension for the scientist. Diana manipulating Jerry for her physical pleasure. Jocye constantly picking on Anne about her life before adoption. Anne’s attention seeking tendency. Its says, all people makes mistakes despite of their good behavior.
I can’t say AnnE with an E is beyond criticism. It have its own low points. I don’t personally enjoyed the bit where all about the “gold” (if you watched it you will understand). The whole romance between Gilbert and Anne is like something straight out of a hollywood rom-com. And there are some cliches like Marilla sending away Anne for “stealing” her brooch etc.
Despite of all the negatives i just said, AnnE with an E is a perfect show for all ages. If you didn’t watched it, you should. It is worth it.