Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chapter 24: Miss Stacy

It's time to welcome one of the most awesome adult characters in Anne of Green Gables: Miss Stacy. (Points to Kevin Sullivan for giving her a more expanded role in the movies!)

Avonlea's new teacher scores points with Anne straight off:
"When she pronounces my name I feel INSTINCTIVELY that she's spelling it with an E."
But Miss Stacy's not held in quite such high esteem by the senior residents of Avonlea, who look somewhat askance at all the new innovations she introduces into the curriculum. Nature studies, "physical culture exercises," and concerts step a bit outside the 3 R's, y'know?

The concert is given "for the laudable purpose of helping to pay for a schoolhouse flag," and The Annotated Anne speculates that this might be a brand new Canadian flag, since the Dominion of Canada had only recently been formed.

Marilla has nothing against inculcating a spirit of patriotism in young Canadians, but she's pretty sure that's just an excuse for dressing up and staying out late.
"All I hope is that you'll behave yourself. I'll be heartily glad when all this fuss is over and you'll be able to settle down. You are simply good for nothing just now with your head stuffed full of dialogues and groans and tableaus. As for your tongue, it's a marvel it's not clean worn out."
Matthew, of course, thinks it's great. Because anything that makes Anne happy is great. Which prompts a lovely narrative aside:
"Those two were the best of friends and Matthew thanked his stars many a time and oft that he had nothing to do with bringing her up. That was Marilla's exclusive duty; if it had been his he would have been worried over frequent conflicts between inclination and said duty."
Poor Marilla, always having to be the grownup!

(Post pic borrowed from here, as the most likely one displayed at the school. I plead guilty to being a dumb American; I didn't realize the maple leaf was a quite recent invention.)

[Update: So close! book lovin' Ontarian pointed out that the original pic was a later iteration of the red ensign.]


book lovin' Ontarian said...

Miss Stacy is amazing. I'd forgotten the whole bit about the concert being a fundraiser for a new flag.
Ans yeah, it would have been the red ensign not the maple leaf...although it probably would have been this one: because apparently (and I just learned this) the other one wasn't used until well after Anne and her cohorts had departed this plain of existence.

The flag of Ontario looks a lot like the red ensign so I was confused for a second trying to figure out what the Ontario flag had to do with Miss Stacy :).

Sarah Rettger said...

Thanks for catching that! (And a big thank you to Wikipedia for having high-res images of things most people probably don't think about, like historical flags.)

Those of us south of the border know pathetically little about Canada. Even those of us who like to think we're well-read. Must get to work on that!

book lovin' Ontarian said...

No worries. The history of the Canadian flag is something plenty of Canadians need to work on too.

Loving the Anne recap and commentary.