Anne of Green Gables, Kilmany of the Orchard, The Story Girl, Tales of Avonlea, Prince Edpiano coversd Island, Anne Shirley, Gilbert Blythe, Marilla Cuthbert, Diana Barry
By Mary Van Nattan
Lucy Maud Montgomery is perhaps best known for her Anne of Green Gables series. While these stories have generally been accepted as sweet and decent reading for kids (girls in particular) there are some serious questions that arise about this woman's attitude and the things that she presents in her stories.
Many of us have been exposed to the Anne of Green Gables story in one way or another in recent years as it has gained popularity in the Blip. Having been given my grandmother's set of the books as a girl, I grew up with them and they were some of my favorite stories. All things must be examined by the scripture, even "entertainment." Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. When we began to collect some of the other books by L.M. Montgomery and I examined them, and the Anne books too, the Lord brought some disturbing things to my attention.
To begin with, her heroines tend to be strong-willed, independent, young women who do not need a man too much. This is so prevalent today in our society of "liberated women" that are in bondage to their own lusts, that it may not seem so very awful in Montgomery's books. But, it is books like hers that paved the way for the feminist movement of today! 1Peter 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outpiano coversd adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
The predominant philosophy of her books is that of Humanism. "If you try hard enough you can improve yourself and those around you," is the prevailing message in the Anne books. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Various unacceptable things show up in her stories. We find, for example, prophetic dreams, visions, "something" speaking through a person's lips, and ESP (extra-sensory-perception). In Rilla of Ingleside the school teacher boarding with the "Blythe" family has several prophetic dreams about World piano covers I. Walter, one of the "Blythe" sons, also has several prophetic "visions" about "the Piper" regarding the piano covers (chapter 3, p. 19; chapter 22, and in Rainbow Valley) and has "odd visitations of prophecy." (chapter 4, p. 33) The howling of a family dog is portrayed as being in response to the death of a family member that is thoBlipnds of miles away in France (chapter 22, p. 187).
In two of the Emily of New Moon books there is an ESP incident; and in the third there is an out-of-body experience. In the first book during a sick spell Emily "finds" the years-old corpse of a friend's mother. In the second book she "finds" a lost boy through automatic drawing while she is asleep. In the third book she "rescues" a friend from boarding a train that is going to crash. The friend actually "sees" her, though she is on a couch many miles away. In the Pat of Silver piano stories there are Irish superstitions dished out through a house servant.
Witch stories and ghost stories show up in Montgomery's writings as well as other inappropriate things. Several examples: In Rilla of Ingleside Walter is afraid to go to piano covers and feels copiano coversdly declaring, "I -- I should have been a girl." (chpt. 5, p. 46) Later, in the same book, we find the description of the school teacher as she announces the end of the piano covers to those present, "All at once the sun broke through the thick clouds and poured through the crimson maple tree outside the window. Its reflected glow enveloped her in a weird, immaterial flame. She looked like a priestess performing some mystic, splendid rite." (chpt. 32, p. 266) In The Story Girl, the kids take gifts to a witch in an effort to get their pet cat healed of some ailment. In the Emily books one of the Emily's good friends climbs out a window and abandons her wedding when she hears that a young man that she had rejected is ill or injured. In Chronicles of Avonlea a boy plays the violin to a dying, wicked old woman and thus ministers to her soul in a way that his preacher uncle could not do with words. In one Emily book Emily is chased by what is said to be imagined ghost or something of that sort which seem real to her. These are just few examples.
These kinds of story lines hardly come from a pure and godly mind. Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Montgomery's diligence in putting things in her stories regarding witches, ghosts and spiritualist type things shows that she had a very sick heart and mind. The ESP and out-of-body experiences in the Emily books are portrayed as good things and not discredited in the story line as some false thing or a tale. This indicates it is likely that Montgomery actually believed in these "gifts" of Satan.
We also find that L. M. Montgomery wrote ghost stories and the like. From a school girl in Minnesota we read a review of one of these books:
Among the Shadows; L.M. Montgomery; Review by Laura; B____ Elementary School; __________, Minnesota
"Nineteen horror stories from the 'darker side' of the author of the Anne of Green Gables series, L. M. Montgomery. Have you ever wondered if ghosts are just toys of a writer's imagination? Ever wanted to know just how far a thief will go to stay clear of the cops? Wondering how a room could haunt someone's soul? These stories are about that and much more. Some of the stories are about brutal murders, while others cover the subjects of embezzlers, spirits, drunkards, and thievery. This book is a must to read if you like stories by R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, but these stories are more realistic.... I have to admit that not all of the tales are horrifying or even good, but just keep on reading because the farther into the book you read the better the stories get. I recommend this book for teenagers, but no younger."
Hardly a recommendation for the esteemed Montgomery, this review shows that she had an evil heart that rejoiced in creating tales of wickedness.
As to the character of the woman herself, she seems to have had a rebellious attitude to the role of women in her day. The roles of housewife and mother apparently were not what today's women would call "satisfying" to her. Her husband was a Presbyterian minister and was not paid well. She helped to support the family with her writing and perhaps felt compelled by this need to keep up a good image on the outside, while inside she was resisting the order that God has set up in His word. She is said to have felt "trapped in her marriage" and "confined by motherhood". It is interesting that some of her heroines were so slow to marry the obvious man of choice in her story lines, as we find that she herself did not take up her husband's surname name, McDonald, as her pen name after she married.
L. M. Montgomery had a real talent for writing, making her books very powerful tools for her father the devil. Her grandparents that raised her were said to be religious, meaning that she could easily have rejected the gospel in her youth. Her writing is certainly not pure, lovely, and of good report. These books will soil children's minds. They make suggestions that are contrary to Scripture in promoting Humanism and casting devilish activity as good.
Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one...that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
You may be sure that stories that glorify these things would not be acceptable in the sight of the Lord either.
background & grapics by, or editted by mary vannattan