Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chapter 7: Religious instruction

In this chapter:
"Marilla decided that Anne's religious training must be begun at once. Plainly there was no time to be lost."
Which turns out to be an interesting experience for these traditionalist, Calvinist, upright Scotch Presbyterians. Anne's memorized the catechism, but no one's ever answered her religious questions. And, since she's Anne, you know there are questions.

Also, no one's ever taught her about praying, which is Marilla's immediate concern.
"Poor Marilla was only preserved from complete collapse by remembering that it was not irreverence, but simply spiritual ignorance on the part of Anne that was responsible for this extraordinary petition."
Marilla doesn't say anything, but Anne realizes, once she's wrapped up, that there was something not quite right about her extemporaneous prayer.
"I should have said, 'Amen' in place of 'yours respectfully,' shouldn't I?—the way the ministers do. I'd forgotten it, but I felt a prayer should be finished off in some way, so I put in the other. Do you suppose it will make any difference?"
And in this very short chapter -- both in word count and temporally; it really is just Anne saying her prayers before bed -- we get another glimpse at Marilla's character, phrased in a particularly lovely way.
"But she had, as I have told you, the glimmerings of a sense of humor—which is simply another name for a sense of fitness of things"

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