Can we put life on pause for five minutes time to swoon over the beauty that is Gilbert Blythe? In a modern world with Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, and more appropriately categorized, Edward Cullen and Travis Maddox at the center of most females’ (and some males’) fantasies …I like to revert back to a time when simply being a gentleman was enough to hasten a girl’s heartbeat.
Don’t get me wrong – the Greys, Crosses, Cullens, and – to an extent – the Maddoxes of the world have great appeal! …but there’s just something that tugs on my heartstrings about the settings in places like “Anne of Green Gables”, the simplistic lifestyle, and the motions of courting back in those days. When money wasn’t as blinding, a proposal could be made without ever even having shared a kiss, and handwritten letters were (exquisitely) the norm.
Admittedly, I may be a little biased because the film version starring Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie holds a special spot in my heart. I still remember the first time I saw it; even at 12 years old, I recognized the importance it would always play in my life. My cousin – who was my best friend at the time – and I were on the phone and we were casually flipping through channels together when one of us – I can’t remember who anymore – came across the scene where Anne breaks her slate over Gilbert’s head. We were both hooked. Our moms even planned a special sleepover for us all the night the third film, “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story” aired for the first time on TV. We’re no longer close but when I think of Anne, I think of her.
Back to the gorgeous Mr. Blythe.
If I could pull a Mary Poppins and enter another realm by leaping into a chalked sketch on the ground, I wouldn’t just dive headfirst into Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables”, I’d climb into Anne’s body and merge with her soul. I would have forgiven his “Carrots” indiscretion as he pulled me into his rowboat after my failed “Lily Maid” reenactment attempt and I would have let him escort me to the White Sands recital. I would have poured my heart and soul out to him until I was blue in the face and my voice box went raw as he fought Scarlet fever for his life and I would have jumped at his proposal before the loving words finished leaving his lips.
I know, I know. I wouldn’t have loved the story as much as I do if things had happened in the way that I just described. But hey, a girl can dream.
And now, you’re about to read all of the reasons why Gilbert Blythe is one of the sweetest men alive …er, in fiction. I’ll stick to the movies because I haven’t read the books in a while. (The first two – because to me, the third one doesn’t exist.)
He tried taking the blame for Anne breaking her slate over his head and even apologized to her afterwards, despite his tendency to tease all the girls in his class and having never offered an expression of regret for it prior to Anne.
Anne may have thought those proud smiles behind her back were Gilbert’s way of rubbing it in that she had placed second to his first during examinations, but I agree with Diana on this one – he was congratulating her. Even though Anne held a grudge against him, he kept trying to win her over and competed with her in a friendly, supportive manner.
His concern when Anne walked the ridgepole of Moody’s roof.
After a failed attempt at reenacting “The Lady of Shalot”, the dory carrying Anne begins to sink, prompting her to wrap herself around a post beneath a bridge that Gilbert is coincidentally passing beneath. He pulls her into his board and rows her to shore where he shares with her the standings for the Queens’ examination they both took – they tied for first. “I’m just sorry you had to share with me.” girly faint
5)After offering Anne a ride home, he brings up The White Sands recital, tells Anne she should have a second selection ready for her performance because he will encore her, and casually adds that he would like to escort her. Then when the damn girl backs out of their date through a note passed between them by Diana, he STILL gives her performance a standing ovation and encores her.
After Matthew – Anne’s adoptive father – has a heart attack that takes his life, Gilbert took the liberty of speaking to the trustees about an exchange for he and Anne. Anne would teach at the Avonlea Public School so she could remain at Green Gables, and Gilbert would take her original post at Carmody. The man gave up his job. He would have to pay for his board at Carmody, which would mean more time to save to return to college. LOVE HIM ALREADY.
The way he picked her up every day in his carriage so they could study together.
8) When Anne walks off during the reception of Fred and Diana’s engagement party to dance with an imaginary man, Gilbert follows her, smiles at the sight of her, and basically asks the imaginary man if he can step in.
9) “I won’t change. That’s the least I can promise you. There’s something I want to ask you.”
10) “Now maybe you don’t think I’m good enough for you now but I will be someday.”
11) “I’ve loved you as long as I can remember. I need you.” From another man, this may sound corny. But given their past and all the years between them, it was sweet.
“Anne, I’ll wait. Even if I thought you cared just a little.”
“I hope he breaks your heart, whoever he is. Then maybe you’ll come to your senses.” Love, love, love this.
“Don’t forget me.” And then he gives her this:
AND THEN FINALLY…
Gilbert: Well, I hope you keep on dreaming. It will be three years before I finish medical school and even then, there won’t be any diamond sunbursts or marble halls.
Anne: I don’t want any sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you.
“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps …perhaps …love unfolded naturally out a of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery
Some pictures taken from:
Her blog is amazing!