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Letters About Literature National Winners 2009

Honorable Mentions, Level 1: Clare Arlington Boyle

Dear L. M. Montgomery,

One of the greatest influences from books I’ve read this year came from your book Anne of Green Gables. Anne’s knack for turning ordinary things into extra ordinary things caught my eye. She is clever, fun-loving, creative, determined and occasionally a little bit absentminded. All of these qualities remind me of me and helped me realize that a little bit of romance, or imagination should always be a part of all of us, and can brighten up many an unpleasant day.

Creativity has always been one of my strengths, but as I have gotten older it seems as if, little by little, my imagination is leaking away. There is no longer as much fun in pretending that I am a servant in a magnificent castle, or a heroine in one of my most beloved books. Maybe I’m too old for pretending, but there is more to imagination than pretending, isn’t there? Anne’s imagination enabled her to do so many things. She could be anywhere, fly on golden wings. Anne’s imagination helped her find the home where she belonged and have a blossoming friendship with Diana Barry. Anne didn’t just use her imagination for herself; she could brighten up anyone’s day. Anne taught Marilla how sweet love, childish innocence, and friendship can be. She taught Diana’s Aunt Josephine that a little bit of energy is important. I aspire to be just as sweet, creative and as willing to help others as she was.

Anne not only taught others lessons, but learned many herself throughout the book. She learned how important it was to be forgiving because you never know when it will be too late to forgive. She also learned to be steady and patient. Anne learning these lessons showed me that it isn’t impossible, and being able to forgive makes a big difference in your relationships with people.

Some of the most important things Anne taught me, apart from how to keep my imagination strong, were the fact that just by being herself and letting her imagination free she was very liked by the others at school. This made me realize how important it is to be yourself. Lots of adults have told me that before but it is hard because sometimes I just want to be popular, but Anne brought the message through. I admire the fact that she always set goals for herself, she always persevered at school work, even geometry, and even though it was sometimes just her way of trying to best Gilbert Blythe. I also admire the way Anne fled to Diana’s aid when Minnie May was sick, even though Mrs. Barry had forbidden Anne and Diana to see each other. She was very brave and she never quit trying to prove to Mrs. Barry that she was responsible. These are all traits I aspire to.

After reading the first hundred pages of Anne of Green Gables I was inspired; I had become one of Anne’s kindred spirits. Anne taught me that there is a little bit of imagination in each and every one of us if we dig down deep enough into ourselves, how important it is to preserve it, and that we can find friends in the most unlikely places, especially if we never give up. I thought you should know that. Thank you for making a character that is just as precious to me as a friend.

Clare Arlington Boyle