Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chapter 37: Handkerchiefs at the Ready

Okay, this chapter? Sob central.

Matthew dies, people. Matthew dies.
"It was long before Anne could love the sight or odor of white narcissus again"
And deservedly so.

The thing is, I like Kevin Sullivan's version of this much better. Montgomery has Matthew collapsing after receiving word that all his savings have been wiped out. That just seems too -- I don't know, prosaic, maybe? As opposed to the movie version, where Matthew just goes on as he always has, quietly working the farm and taking care of Anne, right up to the end.

Cue the sobs:
"For the first time shy, quiet Matthew Cuthbert was a person of central importance; the white majesty of death had fallen on him and set him apart as one crowned."

"There were flowers about him—sweet old-fashioned flowers which his mother had planted in the homestead garden in her bridal days and for which Matthew had always had a secret, wordless love."

"Anne hoped that the tears would come in solitude."
And now that she's all alone except for Anne, the last bit of Marilla's reserve cracks, and she admits how much she really cares.
"'We've got each other, Anne. I don't know what I'd do if you weren't here—if you'd never come. Oh, Anne, I know I've been kind of strict and harsh with you maybe—but you mustn't think I didn't love you as well as Matthew did, for all that. I want to tell you now when I can. It's never been easy for me to say things out of my heart, but at times like this it's easier. I love you as dear as if you were my own flesh and blood and you've been my joy and comfort ever since you came to Green Gables.'"
But then slowly, eventually, they can begin to think of other things. And some of them are quite funny:
"'Josie is a Pye,' said Marilla sharply, 'so she can't help being disagreeable. I suppose people of that kind serve some useful purpose in society, but I must say I don't know what it is any more than I know the use of thistles. Is Josie going to teach?'"
And some are surprising, adding a whole new dimension to the not-romance between Anne and Gilbert.
"John Blythe was a nice boy. We used to be real good friends, he and I. People called him my beau."
But, oh, Matthew. Sigh.

No comments: