A Daughter of the House

Mavis Reimer

in The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195379785
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

A Daughter of the House

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  • Children's Literature Studies
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)



This article reviews the documentary evidence against Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908) to argue that the figure of the adopted (white, Canadian) child—and the British child emigrants and aboriginal Canadians who this figure erases—encapsulate ideas about belonging and acceptance within the home and within Canadian national identity. The title of Anne of Green Gables indicates the primary context for Anne's identity as the member of a community—that of the house and the family in the house. Its plot spans the distance Marilla travels from understanding the child who is to enter her home as a farm worker in terms of the child's economic worth to understanding the child as an emotional resource. Additionally, its iconic status as a text in and of Canada suggests the naturalized power of this image of the happy daughter of a happy house.

Keywords: Lucy Maud Montgomery; Green Gables; adoption; happy daughter; happy house; Canadian national identity

Article.  11216 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Children's Literature Studies ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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