Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Aberdeen chapter.

If, like me, you read Anne of Green Gables a very long time ago, or even not at all, you may have looked at the Netflix show ‘Anne with an E’ and decided that you should skip it, don’t.

I am so glad I gave this TV series another chance, and I really advise that you give it a try. I have never been so obsessed with a TV show as I was with this one.

‘Anne with an E’ is based on the 1908 novel ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ written by Lucy Maud. It follows the life of creative and talkative orphan girl, Anne, in the late Victorian era. Anne gets adopted by brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who live on Prince Edward Island in Canada. It is often noted in this show that in this setting ‘little girls should be seen, and not heard.’ However, Anne does not fall to these social constructs of how a girl should act and wins over most people’s hearts with her chatty nature.

The main reason that I love this adaption of the novel is because it continues the book’s progressive themes. In the 21st century, we can go back to historical stories and explore the narratives that were often hidden from mainstream media at the time. Creator of ‘Anne with an E’, has stated that, “I take nothing away from Anne… I just add in the reality of her history. [NY Times]  This is precisely why I love this show so much! It brings so much more to this story. This is exemplified well in this adaption’s inclusion of early notions of feminism that are present in the original story but in a smaller amount. This series explores many feminist arguments, such as: a women’s worth not being defined by a man; a women’s right for education; stopping slut-shaming and the importance of consent. Anne as a character, no matter what adaption, is an extremely badass feminist, that goes without saying. But in this show, this Anne is to me the most heroic of them all!

This show doesn’t just stop there, it also covers the persecution of other minority groups from this point in history. The importance of the inclusion of queer, black and indigenous characters are usually overlooked throughout history. In the latest season, there is a storyline that includes the horrors of residential schools in North America. These were schools made for the purpose of forcing indigenous people to assimilate to dominant white North American culture by taking children away from their parents. In these schools many children died and many more were abused. Therefore, the coverage of this topic in ‘Anne with an E’ succeeds in showing the public this terrible part of North American history and makes strives forward, educating its viewers of how indigenous people were treated in these areas. ‘Anne with an E’ also goes far in to display the resilience of the indigenous North Americans during this time. Ultimately, I feel that this inclusivity, however dark, is the right step forward in helping these groups get the representation they need within media. It is up to us, ultimately, in the present day to allow ALL parts of history to be represented, because it wasn’t as peaceful as we would like to remember it as.


This show also has a variety of characters who are downtrodden by society, but their resilience helps them strive and make a positive impact on society, proving everyone wrong. Anne is of course an example of such a case. She is deeply persecuted throughout her life as an orphan, an outcast and as a young woman. She doesn’t let this stop her though. In fact, she manages to spark positive changes throughout her home town.

Another remarkable character is Mary, a black woman who brought together communities with her kind heart and strong nature, and ultimately disclaimed the racist beliefs in her town through her actions.

Credit Married Wiki 


Lastly, this show is amazing at its portrayal of friendship. Friendship is an important theme in this tv show and argues for the importance of it in real-life, too. The main lesson we learn through this show is that friendship creates bridges (like Mary did). Anne, being the main character, also makes the world a better place through her friendships. She is not without mistakes, but one of Anne’s best characteristics is her loyalty to her friends, from her best-friend Diana, to other characters she doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with. May we all have a friendship like Anne and Diana.

Credit: Wherever I look


When you add all these points together you can see clearly that this show tries and achieves to mirror real-life – the good and the bad. It maintains an underlining theme of hope and friendship, whilst still portraying the wrongdoings and darkness that this world has. I love this show’s authenticity, and I hope you give it a try too!




Emily Sullivan

Aberdeen '20

Vice President at HCAU xo Anthropology student at Aberdeen University.