8 Life Lessons from Anne of Green Gables

White farmhouse with green gables on a grassy hill.

Are you an Anne of Green Gables fan? If so, then you’ll love this list of 8 life lessons that we can learn from our favorite heroine Anne Shirley.

White farmhouse with green gables on a grassy hill.

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Life Lessons from Anne of Green Gables

I vividly remember the moment that I was introduced to Anne Shirley. I was in middle school and my English teacher, whom I adored, brought me a book and casually mentioned that she thought I would enjoy it.

I remember that I had heard of the book and had seen the cover several times, but for whatever reason had deemed it as boring or something that I wouldn’t enjoy. Man was I ever wrong.

I proceeded to tear through the classic book by L.M. Montgomery and enjoyed it immensely. Anne is such a joyful, quirky and pleasant character.

Like most girls who read it, I related to Anne in many ways, but also desired to be more like her in many ways as well.

One major way that I related to Anne was that my middle name happened to be Anne with an E. Coincidence? I think not.

Also, (later in life) I found this old edition of Anne of Green Gables that was my great-grandmother’s, so I guess you could say it was in my blood. The book pictured below is with a photo of my great-grandmother, Isora (I-ZOR-AH) and her initial locket that I treasure dearly.

Vintage copy of Anne of Green Gables.

I posted this photo on Instagram a few years back. You can follow me @missyrakes if you think we might be kindred spirits.

So anyway, I’ve been an Anne fan for many years now and have read through the series several times and I’m generally not a re-reader. Being that I adore Anne of Green Gables, I thought that I’d share a list of some important life lessons that we can all learn from the heroine Anne Shirley.

This post has been a long time coming and I’m excited to share it with you guys today. I hope you all enjoy and please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Anne’s Got Grit
Grit is defined as passion and perseverance for long term and meaningful goals. Whether it’s working hard to please Marillla, battling Gilbert for the highest mark in Geometry or studying to receive the Avery Scholarship, this girl has most definitely got grit.

Anne sets her mind to something and digs in until she achieves it. Grit is a truly admirable quality and I think it would serve us all well if we could develop a little more of it in our own lives.

Anne Doesn’t Take Life for Granted
While Anne works hard, she seems to know how to balance work and pleasure. She’s constantly going on rambles and stopping to appreciate the natural beauty that seems to surround her on Prince Edward Island and beyond.

She doesn’t take the life that she has been blessed with for granted and seems to truly appreciate every moment of it. I admire her immensely for this.

Flowers over an open book.

Anne uses her Imagination to her Advantage
Anne doesn’t have a perfect life. In her time before arriving at Green Gables, she was an orphan and was made to work for a large family, but seemed to take it all in stride, imagining that she had a best friend in the mirror and dreaming about what life could be like.

She uses her imagination in hard situations to help her get through less than ideal situations and I think this helps her to retain her innocence and sweetness throughout her whole life.

Anne Spreads Joy
“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more, though I know that is the noblest ambition, but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me to have some little joy or happy thought that never would have existed if I hadn’t been born.” “I think you’re fulfilling that ambition everyday,” said Gilbert admiringly.” -Anne of Avonlea

Joy seems to emminate from Anne and spread to all of those lucky enough to be in her inner circle. I think this comes from her true appreciation of life and her intense imagination. Wherever it is coming from, it’s a trait that I would love to have more of and truly admire Anne for maintaining even in hard times.

A basket full of colorful flowers on the front of a white bicycle.

Anne is Content
“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” -Anne of Avonlea

Who else, could say something this idealistic and truly mean it, but the one and only Anne Shirley? True contentment comes from within and it’s not dependent on outside circumstances. Whether she’s going through hard times or simply appreciating simple day to day life, she is content.

Anne looks at the Bright Side
“Anne’s horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after coming home from Queen’s; but if the path set before her feet was to be narrow, she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it. The joys of sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship were to be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of fancy or her ideal world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road!” -Anne of Green Gables

One of the character traits that I admire the most about Anne is how she always seems to look on the bright side, except of course when she is in the depths of despair in her early years.

No matter what life brings her, she takes it in stride and seems to turn negative circumstances into positive ones. I’d love to be more like her in this regard.

White house with green gables sitting on a hill.
CAVENDISH, CANADA – June 13th, 2018: House in the National Park in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island that the author L. M. Montgomery used as a setting for her Anne of Green Gables novel.

Anne is Economical
“If you mean economical, it’s a very different thing from being stingy. It is an excellent trait in a person if she is economical.” –Anne of Avonlea

Ecomonical isn’t a term that is used much today, but a century or so ago, it was heralded as a huge asset, especially in a woman. Of course, I still see it as a huge asset, which is why I share so many frugal living tips around here, but a lot of people today don’t even give this a second thought.

For those that may not know, the term economical refers to someone who uses no more of something than necessary and I LOVE this definition. Why has this fallen our of fashion? Let’s bring this quality back, shall we?

Anne is Honest and Good
“Perhaps she had not succeeded in inspiring any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that is was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savored falsehood and meanness and vulgarity.” –Anne of Avonlea

Anne seemed to truly be a pure-hearted person. She mostly thought well of others and treated them fairly. She was honest and always seemed to learn from her mistakes.

She was a good friend, mother, wife and daughter. In short, Anne Shirley has a strong character that you can trust and rely on if you happen to be her friend.

What life lessons or character qualities would you add to the list? Leave a comment below and let know!

Want more Anne Shirley? Check out this list of fun Anne of Green Gables products:

The Puffin in Bloom Book Collection
Anne of Green Gables DVD
The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook
Anne of Green Gables Coffee Mug
Anne of Green Gables Paper Doll Book

Want more life lesson articles like this one? Here are a few of my favorites:

Frugal Life Lessons from the Amish Lifestyle
8 Lessons Learned from the Great Depression
Life Lessons from Ma and Pa Ingalls

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  1. I am an Anne fan, too, and all of Montgomery! One of my dreams is to spend time on P.E.I., maybe a month in the summer. If you haven't come across it before, you should check out the book The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables--it's the next best thing to visiting the Island in person! I have an Anne post on Richly Rooted and a couple on Tea and Ink Society if you want to check them out(:
  2. I love your site which I just happened upon. Thank you for taking the time to put such interesting things on your site.

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