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As if only marriage and a man’s approval would calm her down, quell her anger.Anne’s ending showed me that marriage and domesticity would fill me up, make me whole. Maybe it was her fault that she was sometimes miserable.
She fluffed her yellow curls around her face and raised her eyebrows at her reflection, she arranged oranges in a turquoise bowl, she smoothed crisp white sheets before tucking me in when I was hot with fever, she cut lumps of butter into pots of cream of mushroom soup.
Sometimes, my mother stayed in her gardens until it was dark and my siblings and I called out that we were hungry; sometimes, she clenched her jaw; sometimes she swerved her car out of the driveway too quickly, cigarette smoke trailing behind her. She yelled when we were packing up the house to go on vacation, she yelled when I was sullen at breakfast, not responding brightly enough to her too loud When my older boy cousins were invited to the adult table at Thanksgiving for the first time (they were newly minted teenagers), I sat at the wobbly folding table and seethed.
I was angry that my stomach pushed soft against my T-shirt like a baby’s, angry that I was invisible to boys, angry about friends getting their periods before me.
I was angry at my mother for not being more content, more like “normal moms” who were happy to cheer on the sidelines at soccer games.
I read sentences about swan-like necks and slim waists and cheeks flushed pink with fury and something burned inside of me, something I didn’t understand, something I wanted more of.
Beauty seemed to be the key, the key to being seen, to being noticed, to be taken seriously. eyes blazing, hands clenched, passionate indignation exhaling from her like an atmosphere.” When her academic rival, and eventual husband, Gilbert Blythe offers Anne a candy heart with the words “You are sweet” written on it, Anne “[takes] the pink heart gingerly between the tips of her fingers, drop[s] it on the floor, [and grinds] it to powder beneath her heel.” At eleven, I was enchanted with Anne’s intellect, her imagination, her appreciation of beauty, but most of all, I loved her rage.
I was full of interesting thoughts and feelings and was just waiting for someone to notice.
I had written a story that very morning about a girl magically transformed into a birch tree.
I thought, When Anne mellows into a gracious mother and wife, smiling gently in the background, her hair easily tamed, her auburn waves twisted high on her head like a crown, I knew my intuition had been right.
By the final book, Anne shrinks to near invisibility, cut from the title of her own story.