British Journal of Canadian Studies

Rose-tinted ideals and the threat of spinsterhood: teaching and maternalism in Anne of Avonlea (1909) (Idéaux édulcorés et la menace du statut de “vieille fille”: l’enseignement et le maternalisme dans Anne of Avonlea (1909))

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2016), 29, (1), 25–45.

Abstract

Concentrating on L.M. Montgomery’s often overlooked Anne sequel Anne of Avonlea(1909), this article interrogates the representation of Anne-as-teacher, particularly focusing on the ways in which Montgomery extends this role beyond the confines of the schoolhouse. It explores the ways Anne’s ‘teaching’ is presented to the reader as both a mode of employment and a route for her own personal development that both draws upon and extends her seemingly innate maternalism. It also examines the extent to which Montgomery’s intended narrative destiny for Anne was shaped by both societal expectations of the period regarding young women, and by the conventions of the domestic romance genre itself. This article intends to encourage new evaluations and reassessment of the Anne sequels by drawing attention to the conflicting relationships between writing, paid work, and gender in this period, which both Montgomery and her protagonist were forced to overcome.

En se concentrant sur Anne of Avonlea (1909), la suite souvent négligée du roman Anne, cet article interroge la représentation d’Anne en tant que professeur dans ce roman en s’intéressant particulièrement aux manières dont Montgomery étend ce rôle au-delà des limites de l’école. Il explore les manières dont ‘l’enseignement’ d’Anne est présenté au lecteur à la fois comme activité professionnelle et comme un cheminement de son développement personnel qui puise dans ce maternalisme en apparence inné et l’approfondit. Il examine également à quel point la destinée narrative prévue pour Anne par Montgomery fut formée tant par les attentes sociétales de la période envers les jeunes femmes que par les conventions gouvernant le genre de la romance domestique elle-même. Cet article a pour intention d’encourager de nouvelles appréciations et relations conflictuelles entre l’écriture, le travail rémunéré et le genre à cette période qui ont dues être surmontées aussi bien par Montgomery que par sa protagoniste.

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Galletly, Sarah