“Scope for the Imagination”:  Imaginative Spaces and Female Agency in <i>Anne of Green Gables</i>

  • Lauren Makrancy The Lewis School, Princeton


Within the canon of children’s literature, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables stands out for its spirited heroine Anne Shirley and her lively imagination. An orphan who has lived an “unloved life” full of “drudgery, poverty, and neglect,” Anne has developed her imagination as a coping mechanism and as a means of survival. Throughout the novel, Montgomery reveals that Anne’s imagination is a powerful entity that is intricately connected to place; as a result, Anne is able to reconfigure the physical world that she sees until it reflects her idealistic imaginings. By analyzing Anne’s imaginative elsewhere through Rose’s theoretical lens, one can see how truly progressive Anne is as a paradoxical figure who consistently possesses agency and actualizes her hopes and dreams into concrete realities.

Author Biography

Lauren Makrancy, The Lewis School, Princeton
Lauren Makrancy holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a minor in Drama from The Catholic University of America and an M.A. in English Literature from The College of New Jersey. She has taken additional literature courses at Keble College, Oxford University and Princeton University, and, for the last eight years, has been an Upper School English teacher and Theater Director at The Lewis School of Princeton. In February 2015, she presented her paper “The Power of the Female Elsewhere: Christine de Pizan and The Book of the City of Ladies” at Vagantes, a Graduate Medieval Conference held at the University of Florida. Anne of Green Gables is her favorite childhood novel, and she is honored to be a part of this special L.M. Montgomery edition.
Alice's Academy