Gilbert Blythe: young and cannot properly flirt

The Ballad of Anne and Gilbert

By Diana Peterfreund, April 23, 2009

I was in a pretty strange mood yesterday (anyone who follows my Twitter feed can back me up on that one). And I was chatting with Justine about yesterday’s post, and specifically about our literary crushes. She mentioned she never really crushed on GIlbert, though she found him perfect for Anne. I found that interesting, because as far as I was concerned, Anne — whom I love, don’t get me wrong — barely lucked out not screwing that relationship up completely at every turn. (Which turned into a whole conversation about how Anne, having been raised in her formative years by folks who cared not at all for her, probably had deep-seated psychological issues about being worthy of love, etc.)

A quick rundown of the Anne and Gilbert arc throughout the series. Here goes:


Gilbert: I think you’re adorable, but I’m young and cannot properly flirt.

Anne: I hate you! I hate you! You have humiliated me in the worst way possible! I shall not speak to you for years!

[Years pass]

Gilbert: Gosh. I really made you mad. Here, let me save your life when you quite recklessly choose to drown yourself in a leaky boat.. I’m really sorry about that whole “carrots” incident, can we be friends?

Anne: No, I hate you! I shall never forgive you, Go Away!

[More years pass]

Gilbert: Gosh Anne, I’m so sorry to hear about your foster father. Here, have my teaching job. I’ll trek all the way across the island every day instead.

Anne: Oh, wow. Guess you aren’t a jerk. Fine. We can be friends.


Gilbert: I’m so glad we’re friends. I think you’re grand. It’s too bad I don’t see you more often, on account of me trekking all over the island every day to go to that other teaching job I took so you could stay here in Avonlea. Gee, I’m noble. Also, have you noticed all our peers are getting married?

Anne: Huh, how about that.

Marilla and Mrs. Lynde: Gee, that Anne and Gilbert are hanging out a lot together — well, as much as they can considering how far away he works and all. Bet they’ll be getting married soon.

Anne: Oh, you silly old biddies!

Gilbert: Anne, don’t you think they’ve got a point?

Anne: Huh?


Random Dude #1’s sister: Anne, will you marry my brother?

Anne: LOL! I mean, huh? I mean, no. I, um, need a real romance.

Random Dude #2: Anne, will you marry me?

Anne: LOL! I mean, huh? Oh, come now. Don’t be silly. I need a real romance.

Gilbert: Okay, Anne. Enough is enough. I think I’m in love with you.

Anne: What? No! We’re friends! And haven’t you been listening about all that real romance stuff?

Gilbert: But that’s the best kind of marriage! We’re so alike, and we get along so well, and why are you being so strangely obstinate about all this?

Anne: Hell no! Go away! Never speak to me again!

Gilbert: Fine, you’re an idiot. I’m going to date this rich beautiful girl over here.

Anne: Hmmm, whenever I see Gilbert with that rich beautiful girl, I feel odd. Wonder why that is?

[Years pass]

Philippa: Hi, I have nothing to do with this, really, I just wanted to pop in and point out that I’m totally awesome, and I’m in this book, too. And I also have a pretty rocking love story in this book, which one sould not ignore for the sake of Anne and Gilbert’s little drama. (Oh, and I lent my name to a character in Rampant.) As you were.

Romantic Dude: Why, hello there, Anne. I’m dashing and rich.

Anne: Now this is what I’m talking about. Swoon!

Everyone Else Anne Knows: Sure. Fine. Whatever.

Anne: I’m so happy with my Romantic Dude. Except his taste in flowers is deplorable. Also, I really wish people would stop telling me that Gilbert is engaged to his rich, beautiful girlfriend. Not that I care. I totally don’t. Still, feel a strange urge to wear the flowers that Gilbert, to whom I have not spoken in ages, randomly sent me this evening, rather than the flowers my boyfriend sent me. It has nothing to do with anything except for my boyfriend’s aforementioned deplorable taste in flowers, I assure you of that. Everyone says that roses are more becoming to me than orchids.

Everyone Else Anne Knows: Riiiiiiight.

Romantic Dude: Oh, Anne: Thou art more fair and lovely still. Will thoust marry me? (I totally know you’re going to say yes.)

Anne: Wait a second, I can’t marry this stick. I’ve been such a fool.

Everyone Else Anne Knows: {forehead slap}

Gilbert: Oops, I studied too hard and am dying. And Anne is engaged to someone else. Oh, woe is me.

Anne: I love Gilbert! Alas, he is dying! Woe is me!

Gilbert: Wait, psych. I’m totally alive. And you’renot engaged!

Anne: Why, hi there, big boy.

Gilbert: We should get married. LIKE I SAID YEARS AGO.

Anne: Yes. I capitulate to your superior understanding in this matter.




Anne: While you are in medical school and we are participating in the longest engagement known to mankind, I shall write you endless, chatty love letters that the author will mysteriously cut from the manuscript.

Gilbert: My fiancee is awesome.

Anne: And since I’m all set up, romantically, I will spend the bulk of this book fixing other people’s problems with my clever and winsome ways.

Gilbert: See? Awesome.


Anne: We’re married and deliriously happy.

Gilbert: Rather.

Leslie: Hi, I’m unutterably miserable and feel a sort of perverse joy that one time that Anne has a miscarriage. But we end up being friends and I get a love story too.



Anne: We’ve been married for years and have a house full of rugrats.

Gilbert: You know it, baby.

Anne and Gilbert’s Rugrats: Hi. The book is really all about us and our misadventures. The title is a misnomer.

[At the very end of the book]

Anne: But wait, one evening Gilbert looks kind of distracted about something — couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that he had two patients die last week — it must be that HE NO LONGER LOVES ME!

Gilbert: Huh?

Anne: In fact, when we go to this party that your rich and beautiful ex-girlfriend will be attending ON OUR ANNIVERSARY, I shall make a point to look as awful and dowdy as possible to prove it.

Gilbert: I’m sorry my dear, did you say something?

Anne: See? I was right! You don’t love me!

Gilbert: Hey, Anne, I got us tickets to Europe.

Anne: What? OMG, I was totally WRONG!


This entry was posted in fictional crushes, kid lit, lmmontgomery, victoriana. Bookmark the permalink.

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