The plot opens up in Green Gables, a small quiet town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Canada, where brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert reside together on their ancestral farm. They decide to adopt an orphan boy to be helper on their farmsince Matthew is sixty years old and is getting too old to handle all the farm work on his own. As this news spread about the prospective adoption, the town gossip, Mrs. Rachel Lynde, is shocked who believes that Matthew and Marilla are unfit to raise a child.
Matthew is terrified of women and arrives at the train station to pick up his new helper but to his surprise, finds a girl orphan insteadof a boy; the orphanage send the eleven year old precocious girl, Anne Shirley, by mistake. Anne is bright and quick, eager to please and talkativeness. It is her attitude and charm that charms Matthew who shyly tells Marilla that he wants to keep Anne. Marilla was at first hesitant but after some time, she agrees to let Anne stay on.
Despite living a poor and impoverished life as an orphan, Anneis a loquacious and cheerful girl. She has a rich and sophisticated fantasy life and an optimistic and generous spirit despite lacking basic social graces and education. Because Anna acts according to her instincts and not according to a code of manners, she unintentionally defies expectations of proper ladylike behaviour. For example, she attends mass for the first time wearing a wreath ofwildflowers and screams at Mrs. Rachel for making fun of her red hair. Anne tries to follow and obey Marilla and her rules of social conduct but makes many mistakes.
Before living at Green Gables, Anne never really had any friends. Her only friends were her invented imaginary playmates that she was forced to make. In Avonlea, she meets Diana Barry, not an invented character of Anne’s imagination, buta neighbour who is quickly embraced as her best friend. One afternoon Anne invites Diana to tea. Instead of giving Diana a non alcoholic raspberry cordial, Anne accidentally gives her red currant wine. Diana returns home in a drunken state where Diana’s mother, thinking Anne has intoxicated Diana on purpose, forbids the girls to speak. This feeling and period of separation and estrangement lastsfor a long time. It eventually ended when Anne saves Diana’s sister, who is sick with the croup. This causes Mrs. Barry to forgive Anne.
At school, Anne feuds with a handsome, smart boy named Gilbert Blyth. On their first encounter, Gilbert immediately taunts Anne by calling her Carrots and pulling her red braid. Anne is already extremely self conscious and sensitive about her red hair andGilbert’s teasing makes situations no better. His teasing only proceeds to madden and enrage her. She screams at him and smashes a slate over his head. This incident marks the beginning of a rivalry between Anne and Gilbert, the two smartest students, which lasts until the end of the novel.
As Anne grows up age-wise, she also grows up mature-wise. She loses some of her childish behaviour and her desirefor the melodramatic and romantic. Instead, she turns her attention to academics. Miss Stacy, a beloved teacher, recognizes Anne’s intelligence and potential and encourages her to join a special group of students who are preparing for the entrance exam to Queen’s Academy. Her rivalry and competition with Gilbert Blythe changes after four years of mutual silence, when they both attend Queen’s...