Rainy Days by Rebekah

Rebekah's entry into Varsity Tutor's October 2021 scholarship contest

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Rainy Days by Rebekah - October 2021 Scholarship Essay

Rainy days are gloomy, sad, and boring—right? Not so much to Anne Shirley, the character from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous and timeless series, Anne of Green Gables. She has taught me that changing your outlook on the facts of life can alter your attitude and ultimately, your life. Throughout a series of 8 books, L. M. Montgomery weaves a beautiful story of a lost orphan girl who finds joy in a life that would leave most people depressed and calloused to all beauty. However, Anne demonstrates the most important character trait of all—the ability to not depend on outward circumstances for momentary happiness, but to dig deep inside and decide to be joyful.
If anyone had reason to be unhappy, it was the skinny, freckled redhead from Canada's province of Nova Scotia. After the death of her parents when she was a small child, she spent her childhood jumping through different orphanages and spending time in strangers’ homes as basically a slave. Her fanciful ideas landed her in trouble many times, leading to rough punishments and frustrated caregivers. Never knowing what family, or even love had felt like, Anne exemplified pain that should have led her to a bitter and callous life. Montgomery described her as “ . . . this outspoken morsel of neglected humanity”(Montgomery 212). However, Montgomery uses this small, emotionally starved girl to show the importance of attitude on one’s outlook on life.
Through all of her pain and suffering, Anne never once lost her spark and joy. Her choice to stay positive and keep on dreaming led her to a life of fulfillment in herself and her surroundings. Anne claims, “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will” (Montgomery 100). In addition to her ability to choose happiness, Anne also appreciated what some might consider “the small things”, which allowed her to appreciate life in a new and undiscovered way. “ . . . that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness” (Montgomery 133). This quote demonstrates Anne’s ability to find joy in things that most would omit. Lucy Maud Montgomery has taught me, through Anne Shirley, that choosing joy and appreciating the small happinesses are key to living a fulfilling life.
Modern day readers can learn many lessons from this simple character of Montgomery's, but the most important is that happiness is a choice. Relating to readers across countries and time, Montgomery displays a small girl, an unlikely hero, who would triumph over her situation by choosing to follow her dreams and see the joy in everyday life. Specifically, I learned from Anne that rainy days aren’t all that bad, because they help the flowers to grow.

Works Cited
Montgomery, Lucy. Anne of Green Gables. 5310 Publishing, 2021. Accessed electronically October 4 2021.