la_eme (la_eme) wrote in binky_betsy,

not really on topic, but an observation

I spent my Fourth of July weekend re-reading the entire Anne of Green Gables series from first book to last. In my reading of this hallmark of Canadian literature (which Anne of Green Gables actually is, unlike a certain comic strip we could mention), something struck me: L.M. Montgomery, a woman 2 generations older than Lynn Johnston, was much more progressive and forward-thinking. I mean, OK, Anne hooked up with Gilbert Blythe, who she'd known since childhood, but he was hardly a sweetheart in those early days, more like the typical thorn in your side that is a boy who "likes you."

On top of that, Anne was originally from Nova Scotia and ended up on PEI, and (gasp!) even moved 60 miles from home after she married. Yeah, these days that's maybe an hour's journey on the freeway, but back in the late 19th century that was a trip that could take the better part of a day.

I find it sad (and even kind of infuriating) that a work of literature written half a century before Lynn Johnston was even born could show a more progressive attitude toward women and their place in society. True, Anne ended up as a wife and mother, but she did have a B.A., she did teach for a couple of years, and though other characters scoffed and treated her pursuit of higher education as a "phase," she herself didn't think of it that way.

Anne didn't have the advantages and choices that Liz enjoys now; she was a woman of her time and her environment, and even her ultimate goal in life wasn't just to "catch a man," as it seems to be the be-all and end-all of Liz's existence.

Yeah, I know they're characters and they're not real, but Anne grew and changed and evolved in the course of the series she starred in, whereas the cast of Foob has devolved to such a point where they're every bit as 2-dimensional as the world they live in. It's kind of sad.

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