Canadian utopia in Poland: How L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables contributed to Polish solidarity
Keywords:utopia, Canada, children’s literature, Poland
L. M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables, about a young, socially-awkward Nova Scotian girl adopted by a family in Prince Edward Island, a novel that expresses the sentiments of the North American “New Woman” movement and markedly exhibits post-colonialist imperialism, has produced a young heroine who stands in solidarity with civil resistance in occupied Poland. Given that Montgomery was descendent of the white English/Scottish Protestant invader culture on PEI, complicit in the marginalization and deportation of French settlers and in the annihilation (literally and metaphorically) of the indigenous Mi’kmaq, the idealistic transformation of Montgomery’s famous Anne character into a symbol of political defiance seems, to me, incredible. In this article, I illustrate the utopic vision that Montgomery, and indeed Anne herself, create on Prince Edward Island and examine how that isolated, island utopia, and Anne become transfixed into heroic visions in war-time Poland.