Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Gave Birth to Anne of Green Gables

          I have given my daughter the nickname Anne Shirley. Jenna does not have red hair, but she does have an overactive imagination and is very theatrical.

          The first homework assignment she brought home for her English class was a list of simple sentences to be rewritten with added reasons.  For example:

The girl cried.  Rewritten: The girl cried because . . . .  Her average classmate may have written:  The girl cried because she was sad.  The girl cried because she couldn’t go outside.  The girl cried because her ice cream was gone.

          But leave it to my Jenna to go on and on with more words than just one sentence.  The girl cried because she couldn’t complete her surprise project because she had run out of red ink before she could finish the fairy-angel’s wings and so she would never be able to give her gift to her mom.

She really does talk that way.  When we remind her to clean up after herself, she is all over the place – “Oh, why do I always have to do everything?  I know you’re just gonna say ‘you have to clean up the front room because most of it is your stuff.’ But not all of it is. It’s not fair.” 
Actually I don’t know if the punctuation is accurate as she tends to rattle on without pausing.  A period (.) I guess would indicate a pause.  For the most part she is hard to understand – especially if she is producing tears.

I know where she gets it from.  My mom used to call me Sarah Bernhardt–  whoever that is (or was) and I was perhaps just as thrilled to be called Sarah Bernhardt as Jenna is at being called Anne Shirley.

The difference is that Sarah Bernhardt was an actual person, an actress.  Anne Shirley was invented by Lucy Maud Montgomery (though there was an Anne Shirley, an actress who portrayed Anne of Green Gables in 1934) 
The book has been dramatized on television and in the theatres since 1919 and the character has been played by various actresses including Mary Miles Minter, Toby Tarnow, and Megan Fellows (pictured at the beginning of this post) and has been enjoyed by readers for over a century.

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