Marilla Cuthbert - “Anne of Green Gables” by L. M. Montgomery

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Marilla Cuthbert - “Anne of Green Gables” by L. M. Montgomery

A thorough character analysis of Marilla Cuthbert in L. M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables"

Determine the Type of Character

One of L. M. Montgomery's most compelling characters in "Anne of Green Gables" is Marilla Cuthbert. She presents herself at the start of the book as a strict, no-nonsense woman who is set in her ways. But as the narrative progresses, Marilla experiences a profound shift in her viewpoints, convictions, and ways of expressing her emotions. This development sets her apart as a dynamic character who goes through significant internal growth during the story.

Examine the Character's Position in the Narrative

One of the main supporting characters in "Anne of Green Gables" is Marilla Cuthbert. Even though Anne Shirley is the main character, Marilla—along with her brother Matthew—plays an important part in Anne's life. Marilla plays a crucial part in forming Anne's personality and giving her a secure, although first rigid, environment in which to grow. She is not the antagonist because she has good intentions, but she does put Anne through difficulties and roadblocks, which heightens the tension and conflict in the narrative as a whole.

Look Into the Past of the Character

Marilla Cuthbert is a middle-aged woman who resides on Green Gables, a farm in the made-up community of Avonlea, with her brother Matthew. Before Anne Shirley shows up, their lives are ordinary and predictable as single siblings. Marilla was nurtured in a rural setting and was surrounded by traditional values and a strong sense of duty, which shaped her background. Her inexperience working with kids turns into a major part of her character growth.

Examine Personality Traits of the Character

Marilla is first described as being reserved, practical, and rigid. Her upbringing and the duties she does as the ruler of Green Gables have shaped her personality. She likes to hide her emotions and is not one for outward shows of emotion. Marilla has a practical outlook on life and emphasizes responsibility, diligence, and following social standards. But underneath this façade, as the narrative goes on, there is a kind and sympathetic side that becomes more and more apparent.

Assess the Character's Interactions

Marilla's character growth heavily relies on her interactions with other characters, especially Anne and her brother Matthew. Her connection with Anne is marked by a tone of severe discipline at first. However, a more loving and maternal side of Marilla emerges when Anne's vibrant personality and inventive energy start to shine through her stern exterior. She and Matthew have a respectful and understanding relationship that highlights the close tie that exists between siblings.

Examine the Behavior of the Character

Marilla acts out of a sense of obligation and accountability. At first, she makes a practical decision to adopt Anne because she needs assistance on the farm. Her acts throughout the narrative show a slow softening of her character as she starts to recognize and value Anne's distinctiveness. Marilla's choice to let Anne go to school and follow her ambitions is an example of how her priorities have changed from being centered on what society thinks Anne should do to being more aware of what Anne needs specifically.

Determine the Conflicts the Character Faces

Marilla struggles with both outside and internal issues. She struggles with the conflict in her mind between her severe upbringing and the growing empathy she is experiencing for Anne. Conflict arises externally from society expectations, particularly with regard to Anne's adoption. Marilla's routine is upended by Anne's arrival, which makes her reevaluate her assumptions and face her own needs and wants.

Evaluate Character Development or Shift

Throughout the book, Marilla experiences tremendous development and transformation. Her changing views on Anne show how much she has changed—from a pragmatic choice to adopt a kid in order to help, to a sincere fondness for the lively youngster. Marilla's emotional journey is most evident in the book's closing chapters, as she candidly shares her love and vulnerability. Her character's development shows that even people who are set in their ways can evolve personally.

Provide Proof to Back Up Your Analysis

Several passages in the book provide credence to Marilla's character growth. She states, "We might be some good to her if she is a good girl, and can be taught and trained," which demonstrates her initial reluctance to adopt Anne. However, Marilla, that orphanage kid terrifies me to no end." Marilla's realistic worries regarding Anne's fitness for adoption are exemplified by her comment. Moments like Marilla defending Anne from Mrs. Rachel Lynde and letting her go to school as the narrative develops show her evolving devotion and attitude.

Determine the Significance of the Character

Marilla Cuthbert is significant not simply because of her supporting role but also because she personifies several of the novel's main themes. Her transformation from a strict, rule-bound woman to a more understanding and kind mother figure adds to the theme of acceptance and love's transformational power. The idea that people may evolve, adapt, and find fulfillment when they are open to new experiences and relationships is emphasized by Marilla's character. Her importance to Anne's life and the story as a whole is enormous, giving the issues in "Anne of Green Gables" more depth and complexity.

To sum up, Marilla Cuthbert's dynamic character in "Anne of Green Gables" enhances the story by offering a gripping arc that delves into issues of acceptance, love, and transformation. Her transformation from a strict, pragmatic woman to a more compassionate, caring character gives the narrative depth and enhances the novel's enduring appeal.