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Anne of Green Gables Quotes From The Iconic Coming of Age Novel

These Anne of Green Gables quotes show her growth as she makes her way within a new family, town, and life in general.

Anne of Green Gables, the first book in the series, was written in 1908 by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L.M. Montgomery). It has been considered a classic children’s novel since the mid-twentieth century but was written for all ages.

The story takes place in the late 19th century, in the fictional town of Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley. She is a 13-year-old orphan girl, who is sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They had originally planned to adopt a boy because they needed help on their farm.

Anne of Green Gables is taught to students around the world and has been translated into at least 36 languages and sold over 50 million copies. It is one of the best-selling books worldwide, and has spawned many sequels, films, and made for TV movies. One of the most popular is the 1985 version starring Megan Follows. The Anne of Green Gables quotes featured below come from this movie and include some of the best quotes from other characters as well.

Don’t forget to also check out these Little Women quotes from the emotional movie and novel.

Best Anne of Green Gables quotes from the movie from Anne Shirley

1. “The fact that you rescued me, unnecessarily, hardly wipes out past wrongs.” [talking to Gilbert] ― Anne Shirley, (Megan Follows)

2. “I promise I’ll never do it again. That’s the one good thing about me. I never do the same wrong thing twice.” ― Anne Shirley, (Megan Follows)

3. “I’ve never belonged to anyone!” ― Anne Shirley, (Megan Follows)

4. “How would you like to have nasty things said about you? How would you like to hear that you’re fat, ugly, and a sour old gossip!” [talking to Gilbert] ― Anne Shirley, (Megan Follows)

5. Gilbert Blythe: “Well, I figured you can give me a hand with my work, and we’ll call it a fair exchange.”

Anne Shirley: “Aren’t you worried? I’m liable to break another slate over your head.”

Gilbert Blythe: “I’m more worried I might break one over yours, carrots.”

6. Anne Shirley: “Oh, Marilla, you look so elegant!”

Marilla Cuthbert: “You don’t make important visits in kitchen clothes.”

7. Anne Shirley: Don’t you ever imagine things differently from what they are?

Marilla Cuthbert: No.

Anne Shirley: Oh Marilla, how much you miss.”

8. Matthew Cuthbert: “I’ve worked hard all my life. I’d rather just drop in the harness. I got old; I never noticed.”

Anne Shirley: “If I’d been the boy you sent for, I could have spared you in so many ways.”

Matthew Cuthbert: “I never wanted a boy. I only wanted you from the first day. Don’t ever change. I love my little girl.”

Anne of Green Gables quotes from the movie from the supporting characters

9. “Make a little room in your plans for romance again, Anne, girl. All the degrees and scholarships in the world can’t make up for the lack of it.” ― Aunt Josephine, (Charmion King)

10. “My current wine is famous all over the island, Rachel Lynde, as you very well know. And the Reverend Allen himself is not opposed to taking a bit when he comes calling. And as for Christian virtue: making a little wine for a refreshment is far less sinful than meddling in other people’s affairs!” ― Marilla Cuthbert, (Colleen Dewhurst)

11. “If she can avoid catastrophe two days in a row, I might have a chance to make up my mind.” [commenting on whether or not she’ll keep Anne] ― Marilla Cuthbert, (Colleen Dewhurst)

12. “The truth will set you free.” ― Miss Muriel Stacy, (Marilyn Lightstone)

13. “Wealth can be very empty when you don’t have someone to share it with. But by the time I realized that, no one would have me except men who wanted my money more than I did.” ― Aunt Josephine, (Charmion King)

14. “You amuse me and precious little amuses me in this world at my age.” [talking to Anne] ― Aunt Josephine, (Charmion King)

15. “I like people who make me like them. Saves me so much trouble forcing myself to like them.” ― Aunt Josephine, (Charmion King)

16. “Her tongue appears to be hinged in the middle, but she may turn out all right.” [commenting on Anne’s dramatic apology.] ― Rachel Lynde, (Patricia Hamilton)

Anne of Green Gables quotes about money, despair, and struggles

17. “Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness anymore if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

18. “We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

19. Anne Shirley: “Weren’t you? Well, did you ever try to IMAGINE you were in the depths of despair?”

Marilla Cuthbert: “No, I didn’t.”

Anne Shirley: “Then I don’t think you can understand what it’s like. It’s very uncomfortable a feeling indeed.”

20. “My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

21. “That’s the worst of growing up, and I’m beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

22. “Red hair is my lifelong sorrow.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

23. “It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

24. “I’ve done my best, and I begin to understand what is meant by ‘the joy of strife’.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

25. “I can’t cheer up — I don’t want to cheer up. It’s nicer to be miserable!” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Whimsical Anne of Green Gables quotes about imagination and stories

26. “I don’t know. I don’t want to talk as much. It’s nicer to think dear, pretty thoughts and keep them in one’s heart, like treasures. I don’t like to have them laughed at or wondered over.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

27. “Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

28. “The world looks like something God had just imaged for his own pleasure, doesn’t it?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

29. “I’ve just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all, and that I was to stay here forever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

30. “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

31. “I think this story-writing business is the foolishest yet,” scoffed Marilla. “You’ll get a pack of nonsense into your heads and waste time that should be put to your lessons. Reading stories is bad enough but writing them is worse.” ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

32. “The trouble with him seems to be that he hasn’t enough imagination.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

33. “People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

34. “Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

35. “It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

36. “The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

37. “Don’t you just love poetry that gives you a crinkly feeling up and down your back?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Life lessons we can learn from these Anne of Green Gables quotes

38. “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

39. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

40. “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… Yet.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

41. “I’m not a bit changed—not really. I’m only just pruned down and branched out. The real ME—back here—is just the same. It won’t make a bit of difference where I go or how much I change outwardly; at heart I shall always be your little Anne, who will love you and Matthew and dear Green Gables more and better every day of her life.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

42. “Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

43. “It’s lovely to be going home and know it’s home. I love green gables already, and I’ve never loved any place before. Oh, Marilla, I’m so happy.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

44. “If I was wicked I meant to be wicked to some purpose.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

45. “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables kindred spirits quote

46. “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

47. “True friends are always together in spirit.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

48. “Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

49. “Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

50. “We ought always to try to influence others for good.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

What did you learn from these Anne of Green Gables quotes?

I read this entire series as a child, and it has always been one of my favorites. L. M. Montgomery started jotting down notes for the story when she was a young girl. She also drew on her own childhood experiences in rural Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The “formula Ann” orphan stories also help inspire Montgomery but she distinguished her character by spelling her name with an extra “e.” Other characters from the book are modeled after people she knew personally, including Anne’s friend Gilbert Blythe.

Anne is idealistic and youthful. Despite having a tough life, she is kind, and faces most of her challenges with optimism, although the book touches on her sadness and despair. If you read the other books in the series, you can follow her journey into adulthood.

Did you read this book as a child, or maybe as an adult? It really is worth the read regardless of your age! Feel free to share some of your favorite Anne of Green Gables quotes and lines that didn’t make the list in the comment section below!

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