I would be terribly remiss if I did not choose Anne of Green Gables as the movie/book series documented for the purposes of the Entertainment discourse. In the case of this particular series, I first viewed the films inspired by L.M. Montgomery’s work and later (at around 12 or 13) took up the task of reading the series. I would like to outline both my childhood memories of the books and the movies as they are closely related.
When I attempt to recall this film as I first viewed it, I immediately recall that she walks through a forest reciting poetry within the opening moments of the film. I can remember adopting a strange sense of pride upon discovering Anne’s imaginary friend in the early scenes was named “Katie”. As for the book series, I can recall a connection with Anne Shirley’s character that I might not have entirely understood at the time. In both the books and the film(s), Anne’s imaginative vocabulary and fanciful conversations gradually become honed and reshaped into a writer’s voice.
A more recent look at the film shows a prevalent theme of appreciation for literature (poetry in particular: the clip above showcases Anne’s re-enactment of “The Lady of Shallot” and below, her recitation of “The Highwayman”), something I completely identify with as an English major. I do not own the AoGG series and cannot conduct a fresh viewing of them, but I will say that now I appreciate the significance of Anne Shirley’s character and L.M. Montgomery’s work as a whole. There are very few successful book series that I can identify with female protagonists, and it is perhaps even more remarkable when one considers how ordinary (thought I don’t think anyone could ever honestly call Anne “ordinary”) Anne is as a teacher, writer, and eventual wife/mother.
Connecting my Family memories to this Entertainment narrative is relatively easy. I reference my mothers’ readings of The Little House on the Prairie to myself and my sisters and how that influenced the way we played house in our backyard in my Family discourse. In the same vein, watching AoGG was a family activity largely influenced by my mom’s love for the series and films. However, I read the series independently and in a way, made the books my own. While I was comfortable sharing Anne Shirley played by Megan Follows with my family, the Anne Shirley fully captured in L.M. Montgomery’s hand was all mine.