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Transformative girlhood and twenty-first-century girldom in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

Faculty Advisor




Canadian literature, children in literature, literary criticism, Anne of Green Gables

Abstract (summary)

From Jane Austen to contemporary fanfiction and adaptations, literary portrayals of the child and imaginings of childhood are particularly telling indicators of cultural values and when they shift. Inspired by the responsive reading practices of L.M. Montgomery herself, those demonstrated by her characters and her diverse readership, Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery works with concepts of confluence, based on organic, non-linear readings of texts across time and space. Such readings reconsider views of childhood and children by challenging power hierarchies and inequities found in approaches that privilege more linear readings of literary influence. While acknowledging differences between childhood and adulthood, contributors emphasize kinship between child and adult as well as between past and present selves and use both scholarly approaches and creative reimagining to explore how the boundaries between different stages of life are blurred in Montgomery's writing. Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery addresses Montgomery's challenges to prescribed assumptions about childhood, while positioning her novels as essential texts in twenty-first century literary, childhood, and youth studies.

Publication Information

Thompson, W. V. (2022). "Transformative girlhood and twenty-first-century girldom in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables". In Bode, R., Clement, L. D., Pike, E. H., & Steffler, M. (Eds.), Children and childhoods in L.M. Montgomery: Continuing conversations (pp. 201-220). McGill-Queen’s University Press.



Item Type

Book Chapter



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