Monday, December 19, 2011

Chapter 28: The Lady of the Lake

Yes, I'm mixing Arthurian legends here. Deal.

Fun fact, from Montgomery's journal via the Annotated Anne: Montgomery was not the fan of Tennyson's poem that she made Anne out to be: "I detest Tennyson's Arthur! If I'd been Guinevere I'd have been unfaithful to him too."

This, of course, is when the girls decide to act out the poem. And even though Anne doesn't plan to star in the drama (because a red-haired Elaine is too ridiculous to consider), she ends up in the boat anyway.
"It was Anne's idea that they dramatize Elaine. They had studied Tennyson's poem in school the preceding winter, the Superintendent of Education having prescribed it in the English course for the Prince Edward Island schools. They had analyzed and parsed it and torn it to pieces in general until it was a wonder there was any meaning at all left in it for them, but at least the fair lily maid and Lancelot and Guinevere and King Arthur had become very real people to them, and Anne was devoured by secret regret that she had not been born in Camelot. Those days, she said, were so much more romantic than the present."
Slight problem: the water is supposed to remain outside the boat. And it doesn't.

Which gives Gilbert a chance to rescue the now-stranded Anne.
"Without waiting for an answer he pulled close to the pile and extended his hand. There was no help for it; Anne, clinging to Gilbert Blythe's hand, scrambled down into the dory, where she sat, drabbled and furious, in the stern with her arms full of dripping shawl and wet crepe. It was certainly extremely difficult to be dignified under the circumstances!"
And he thinks it gives him an opening:
"'Anne,' he said hurriedly, 'look here. Can't we be good friends? I'm awfully sorry I made fun of your hair that time. I didn't mean to vex you and I only meant it for a joke. Besides, it's so long ago. I think your hair is awfully pretty now—honest I do. Let's be friends.'"
Not so much:
"Her resentment, which to other and older people might be as laughable as its cause, was in no whit allayed and softened by time seemingly."
Which, of course, no one else can understand.
"'Oh, Anne, how splendid of him! Why, it's so romantic!' said Jane, finding breath enough for utterance at last. 'Of course you'll speak to him after this.'"
Jane very narrowly avoids getting smacked over that, while the reader quite probably wants to shake some sense into Anne. Girl, there is not exactly an oversupply of eligible young men with a sense of romance in Avonlea -- or most other places.

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