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S01.E06: Remorse Is the Poison of Life

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When her little sister becomes ill, Diana runs to Anne for help. Meanwhile, the Blythe farm sees change, as Marilla is reminded of what she gave up and Matthew receives some unsettling news.

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The "Anne to the Rescue" chapter is one of the more dramatic incidents in the original book, though ironically it feels almost mild in comparison to some of the things that this series has added.  But it was very well-done, I thought, and they integrated Josephine Barry into the proceedings nicely.  I was kind of surprised when the episode cut right to the chase and opened with that, but having seen the whole thing it makes sense, as the episode is structured more around Gilbert's father's death (and I guess Minnie's brush with mortality contrasts with that; it's notable that we see Anne and Diana's ecstatic reunion right after Gilbert is called in for the bad news).

I don't know whether this was intended by the show or not, but making Diana's maiden great-aunt a lesbian who lived with a female companion all her life is kind of funny when you consider that Anne/Diana has a huge following in the gay community.

For those who (like myself) are curious about when this is supposed to be set, I freeze-framed Mr. Blythe's tombstone.  His birthdate is given as April 24, 1835; his date of death is November 18, but I cannot for the life of me figure out if the year is 1886 or 1896. 

This version of Anne definitely isn't ending up as a homemaker in her married life, I'm sure.

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Overall I'm quite enjoying the series, but some of the dialogue is much too modern for the times. During the scene with Gilbert and the boys walking in the woods, I felt like I was watching an episode of Degrassi TNG.

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28 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Since when was "bud" and "seriously, ________" in common use back in the 1880s?

Apparently the word "buddy" turned up around the mid 19th century. But I will say that I find it harder to believe that Americanisms like that would've found their way to PEI at that point. 

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6 minutes ago, Keener said:

Apparently the word "buddy" turned up around the mid 19th century. But I will say that I find it harder to believe that Americanisms like that would've found their way to PEI at that point. 

But was "bud" used?

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10 minutes ago, PRgal said:

But was "bud" used?

"Bud" is a fairly natural contraction of "buddy", so if you assume the latter is fine, I think the former should be too.

I agree that it wasn't the strongest dialogue in the series, though I think part of the issue was that the other actor opposite Gilbert was not the best at delivery.

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I don't want Mattthew to die! I am in love with him !

interesting twist with Aunt Josephine. 

Loved the additional background with Marilla and John Blythe.

what will happen to Gilbert? His story has completely changed from the books. 

How medicine has changed over the years! Rubbing onions over the feet to treat fever. Syrup of Ipeac for croup. 

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Ipecac actually makes you barf, so I was never sure how that would help with a respiratory virus (especially after my own kids had croup)!

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30 minutes ago, Capricasix said:

Ipecac actually makes you barf, so I was never sure how that would help with a respiratory virus (especially after my own kids had croup)!

I believe the theory was that the child would "vomit" up the mucous that was preventing them from breathing. 

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That's how LMM describes it in the novel.

How does this show make me bawl so easily when This is Us can't do it? Watching that snowflake transform into a tear and drop off Gilbert's hand wrecked me. As did Marilla crying over her letters. I loved the juxtaposition of Marilla's and Josephine's tears. Both women grieving over the loss of someone over whom the world would declare they had no right to grieve, so they must do so in secret. But because it's acceptable in this world for Marilla to have her feelings (no matter how she might be shamed or scorned for her weakness), we the audience are allowed to observe her in her grieving process. Poor Josephine's is not, and so we only see what Anne sees, which is the little she dares to let out. The rest has to stay forever hidden. Poor soul.

Speaking of which, I thought the writer did an admirable job of hinting at the true nature of Josephine's relationship with her companion to the audience while at the same time couching it in language that would sound like the natural culmination of a deep kindred spirit friendship to a girl like Anne. It would have been completely unbelievable in this day and age for Anne to even know what a lesbian relationship was, let alone be accepting of it. The writer walked a fine line in choosing words that are meant one way by Josephine and taken completely differently by Anne, yet the advice was still sound and still helped her and resolved her situation. Great job.

This is definitely not Gilbert's story from the novels, but as we never met his parents in the novels (we only heard them described and talked about) and as it's an intriguing story they're setting up and gives Gilbert something to become besides "love interest", I'm fine with it.

My recording cut off just as Anne was running up to Gilbert's house (I assume) - what happened after that?

Edited by Miss Dee
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40 minutes ago, Miss Dee said:

Both women grieving over the loss of someone over whom the world would declare they had no right to grieve, so they must do so in secret.

I don't think anybody in Avonlea would find Marilla's grief inappropriate.  That's more a case of Marilla's repressed emotions and desire for privacy.

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My recording cut off just as Anne was running up to Gilbert's house (I assume) - what happened after that?

On receiving no answer at the door, she looked inside and saw that the house was seemingly closed up (coverings over furniture, etc.), suggesting the Blythes have departed.

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I was surprised to find the episode already available online on the CBC website the day it aired, (actually it was online before the end of the episode was even over). 

I have to say, I really liked the imagery of the snowflake melting and representing Gilbert's sadness instead of actual tears. Especially considering his argument with Anne, his shortness with Matthew (at first) and then his physical fight, he is clearly exhibiting the anger stage of grief. I agree with @Miss Dee that it's nice to see Gilbert more fully rounded out beyond "love interest". I also find this new commonality of Gilbert and Anne both being orphaned interesting. I imagine because of the Blythe's status within the town and Gilbert's age that the title of "orphan" won't tarnish him socially as it does Anne. Even though Anne pointing out their new common status blew up in her face this episode, I can see it down the line bringing them together to some extent.

Also, I find it interesting that Gilbert now knows about his dad and Marilla's connection, I wonder if or when Anne will learn this. 

I've grown so attached to this version of Matthew, I'm feeling anxious about the last episode of this season.

Edited by Check Sanity · Reason: Only one more episode left.
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Did I mis-hear, or did the promo say next week was the season finale?  I thought there were two episodes left.  [Edit: I realized the first episode was actually 2-hours, so that does mean next week is the seventh and last episode, since they made 8 hours].

This was a beautifully rendered episode around grief.  I was surprised Gilbert's father died so soon, since they could have explored Marilla's past with him a bit more.  It raised an interesting point how Anne may not have understood grief since she never got close to anyone before she came to Green Gables.  I was a little surprised Marilla opened up to Gilbert like that.

Ruby and Diana's bickering was quite amusing.  

The croup part seemed a bit quick.  She hardly breathed in the hot steam before they stuck her out the window to cool her off.  

I kept expecting the jumping on the bed scene, but I'm assuming the ship has sailed now.  I did like Anne and Josephine's connection.

Edited by Camera One
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I forgot to say earlier:  they kept the anecdote that Marilla and the Barrys were absent because they were in Charlottetown to see the premier.  In the book it's clearer that LMM is referring to Sir John A. Macdonald, the then-Prime Minister, as Marilla's line about how he didn't become premier because of his looks includes there an allusion to his having a big nose.  With this series' timeline, Sir John A. sadly may no longer be alive at this point.

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2 hours ago, SeanC said:

With this series' timeline, Sir John A. sadly may no longer be alive at this point.

I was wondering if they were referring to Sir John A.  I looked up a time line of Prime Ministers and his ended in 1891 so given what others have calculated this show's time line to be, you'd be correct.

Glad to have it confirmed that it was supposed to be Sir John A. Thanks.

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I have seen the prime minister being called "the premier of Canada" before, since the spirit behind it is "first minister" and the prime minister is just that.  While I do feel like they'd call the prime minister, the prime minister, and that they'd certainly rush to Charlottetown to catch a glimpse of him (and not the premier who'd likely be scurrying favour across the province on a normal basis and have been seen normally), it could still technically be referencing the prime minister. 

Edited by Keener

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7 hours ago, SeanC said:

I forgot to say earlier:  they kept the anecdote that Marilla and the Barrys were absent because they were in Charlottetown to see the premier.  In the book it's clearer that LMM is referring to Sir John A. Macdonald, the then-Prime Minister, as Marilla's line about how he didn't become premier because of his looks includes there an allusion to his having a big nose.  With this series' timeline, Sir John A. sadly may no longer be alive at this point.

Was the looks reference on the show?  I don't remember.  If so, it could be a jab at our CURRENT PM - for the OPPOSITE reason (don't forget the "great hair" reference during the campaign)...

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I've also read that Premier and Prime Minister were used interchangeably previously.

Edited by Camera One

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

I've also read that Premier and Prime Minister were used interchangeably previously.

The custom of referring to the federal leader as the PM and provincial leaders as premiers exclusively only gradually came about (as late as the 1970s, actually, W.A.C. Bennett styled himself as the Prime Minister of British Columbia).

The relevant textual clues are:

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At first glance it might not seem that the decision of a certain Canadian Premier to include Prince Edward Island in a political tour could have much or anything to do with the fortunes of little Anne Shirley at Green Gables.

...

Marilla had a sneaking interest in politics herself, and as she thought it might be her only chance to see a real live Premier, she promptly took it, leaving Anne and Matthew to keep house until her return the following day.

...

"Well he never got to be Premier on account of his looks," said Marilla.  "Such a nose as that man had!  But he can speak.  I was proud of being a Conservative."

"A certain Canadian Premier" could in theory refer to a premier from another province, but the second passage, with Marilla thinking this might be her only chance to see a Premier, doesn't really make sense if it's a provincial first minister.  The brief physical description (omitted from the show) seems like a pretty unmistakeable reference to Sir John A.

Edited by SeanC
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On Monday, May 01, 2017 at 4:30 AM, PRgal said:

Was the looks reference on the show?  I don't remember.  If so, it could be a jab at our CURRENT PM - for the OPPOSITE reason (don't forget the "great hair" reference during the campaign)...

Yes it was the same line.

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That snowflake melting into a tear in Gilberts hand was a really lovely shot. I know all of the Gilbert stuff isn't from the books, but I like that they are expanding his character more. It works pretty well for me.

I love Matthew, and if something happens to him in the next episode, I'm going to be crying into my own potatoes. And Marilla crying about what could have been was so heartbreaking. I always love seeing her show some emotion, even if its few and far between.

Ruby and her massive giggly crush on Gilbert is rather cute and I like her scenes with Anne and Diana, especially when she and Diana are arguing and picking on each other. Also, how many people does Anne have to rescue at this point before she wins everyone over?

I like the connection that Anne and Aunt Josephine have, and how she gave Anne a new perspective about what she could do as an adult. Honestly, it makes me sad that Anne in the books will eventually give up her career to become a full time stay at home mom. Not that there's something wrong with being a homemaker, and that would certainly be what was expected in that time period, and certainly priorities change between being a young girl and a wife and mother, but it still seems rather sad. Little Anne wouldn't be happy I don't think.

You know, I, for the most part haven't minded the more modern stuff that's been added, but the scene between Gilbert and Asshole Kid seemed the closest to coming across as too modern to me. It really could have been cut from an episode of Degrassi, as others have said. I mean, it hasn't gotten too bad yet (when Drake shows up in a wheel chair, that's when I start complaining), but I'm keeping an eye on it.

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On 4/23/2017 at 8:51 PM, SeanC said:

"Bud" is a fairly natural contraction of "buddy", so if you assume the latter is fine, I think the former should be too.

I agree that it wasn't the strongest dialogue in the series, though I think part of the issue was that the other actor opposite Gilbert was not the best at delivery.

It mostly irked me that he was almost saying "bud" when he really wanted to say "bro."

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The "yeah right" bugged me more than "bud". I don't even know if that's anachronistic or not but the cadence  and tone of how they said it screamed early 1990s to me.

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I'm having a really hard time getting through this episode. I kept stopping and having to force myself to go back to it during the Marilla flashback and when Anne tries to advise Gilbert On Being An Orphan without any appreciation for the fact that his immediate problem is grief in which she has basically no experience. And I am stuck again as Aunt Josephine Barry overhears Anne ranting to herself about Gilbert's failure to appreciate her wisdom. Aaargh.

I was disappointed that in the croup incident we didn't get to see Anne explaining herself and impressing the doctor. But the overall dynamic was very different from the book. Having Aunt Josephine there as an actual authority figure (and trying to order Anne not to do what Anne is confident needs to be done) is not the same thing as the hired girl Mary Jo not having any idea what to do and obediently boiling water per Anne's instructions. I don't recall whether Anne explained for the audience that she knew what to do because she had dealt with 3 sets of twins at Mrs Hammonds'; I recall her saying just that she had seen cases of croup before. In any case added on top of her saving the day at the Gillis fire it seems like a bit too much.

I have wasted too much time wondering how old Marilla was supposed to be in the flashback scene with Gilbert's father since she was wearing her hair in a braid so he could tie a ribbon on it, when really I should just have assumed that the production is not going to be particular about the age at which a young lady is expected to put her hair up rather than wear it down.

Was Anne's blue hair ribbon supposed to be the same ribbon or merely similar? I saw Marilla pointedly looking at it after the flashback, and the recap seems to assume that it is the very one, but I don't remember Marilla giving it to her and I would think that after 30 or 40 years it might not be in mint condition.

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1 hour ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

Was Anne's blue hair ribbon supposed to be the same ribbon or merely similar? I saw Marilla pointedly looking at it after the flashback, and the recap seems to assume that it is the very one, but I don't remember Marilla giving it to her and I would think that after 30 or 40 years it might not be in mint condition.

I think it's supposed to be the same one that Marilla gives her in the first episode before they visit the Barry's for the first time.

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I was disappointed that in the croup incident we didn't get to see Anne explaining herself and impressing the doctor. But the overall dynamic was very different from the book. Having Aunt Josephine there as an actual authority figure (and trying to order Anne not to do what Anne is confident needs to be done) is not the same thing as the hired girl Mary Jo not having any idea what to do and obediently boiling water per Anne's instructions. I don't recall whether Anne explained for the audience that she knew what to do because she had dealt with 3 sets of twins at Mrs Hammonds'; I recall her saying just that she had seen cases of croup before. In any case added on top of her saving the day at the Gillis fire it seems like a bit too much.

I was disappointed in the croup incident too.  Having Aunt Josephine around was rather quizzical and unnecessary... I suppose this is supposed to be the reason why Josephine later thinks so highly of Anne.  I think Anne does mention the twins, though.  I don't know why but this adaptation made Anne seem like a know-it-all rather than someone being able and efficient.  

I'm curious about the reasoning for why they took out the Anne jumping on Aunt Josephine in the bed incident.  

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9 hours ago, Camera One said:

I think it's supposed to be the same one that Marilla gives her in the first episode before they visit the Barry's for the first time.

I had forgotten about that.

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I was disappointed in the croup incident too.  Having Aunt Josephine around was rather quizzical and unnecessary... I suppose this is supposed to be the reason why Josephine later thinks so highly of Anne.  I think Anne does mention the twins, though.  I don't know why but this adaptation made Anne seem like a know-it-all rather than someone being able and efficient.  

Is it because Anne shows little deference to any authority and no humility, even when she is wrong?

 

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I'm curious about the reasoning for why they took out the Anne jumping on Aunt Josephine in the bed incident.  

I can imagine that they didn't think it would match with their tone. Anne and Diana are slightly older, plus everything is very serious. Anne is badly damaged and Avonlea society has tended to shun her. Laughing at this Anne seems cruel. In the book Anne is more resilient, bright and innocent -- Marilla can find her funny and we can too. Also, it seems as if they prefer to set up a relationship where Aunt Josephine and Anne bond over feminism instead of one where Aunt Josephine is amused by Anne's precocity.

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I think it's strange that this show is trying to deepen and expand on the characters, but their writing decisions often gloss over the actual interesting aspects of the characters that could be explored.  Gilbert tells Matthew that he's not really interested in farming.  I was interested in why and what the father thought of that.  Instead, we got the cliffhanger with the house completely packed up and Gilbert MIA.  Then, there was the Marilla flashback.  I guess they decided not to use Marilla's pride as the reason why they broke up.  I'm a little confused what actually happened, or was it supposed to be nebulous?  Marilla said she stayed out of obligation to her family, but were we supposed to infer that it was partly because she wasn't "brave enough"?  I'm surprised in a small community like Avonlea, Marilla wouldn't know everything about the Blythes already.  Then again, it seems like this is a community where people don't really know one another, which is unfathomable for the time.  I think it might have been more impactful if we had seen Marilla and John interact more before he died.

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

I think it's strange that this show is trying to deepen and expand on the characters, but their writing decisions often gloss over the actual interesting aspects of the characters that could be explored. 

The things they are doing to expand on the characters is mostly add tragedy and disappointment to their lives, which is a heavy load but it's also kind of skimmed over -- the sadness is mostly presented in vignettes rather than developed in interesting and complex ways that would support the source. In some cases they seem to directly contradict the source text, like Matthew and Jeannie (from CHAPTER XVIII. Anne to the Rescue):

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“Did you ever go courting, Matthew?”

“Well now, no, I dunno’s I ever did,” said Matthew, who had certainly never thought of such a thing in his whole existence.

 

 

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Gilbert tells Matthew that he's not really interested in farming.  I was interested in why and what the father thought of that.  Instead, we got the cliffhanger with the house completely packed up and Gilbert MIA.  Then, there was the Marilla flashback.  I guess they decided not to use Marilla's pride as the reason why they broke up.  I'm a little confused what actually happened, or was it supposed to be nebulous?  Marilla said she stayed out of obligation to her family, but were we supposed to infer that it was partly because she wasn't "brave enough"?  I'm surprised in a small community like Avonlea, Marilla wouldn't know everything about the Blythes already.  Then again, it seems like this is a community where people don't really know one another, which is unfathomable for the time.  I think it might have been more impactful if we had seen Marilla and John interact more before he died.

Both Matthew and Marilla are tragically single apparently because their older brother died. Marilla has framed her issue as not being brave enough to go with John Blythe when he asked her, because her mother needed her -- but why not think of it as John Blythe wasn't supportive enough to stay with Marilla when her family needed her?

It sounded like John Blythe was widowed and returned to Avonlea when Gilbert was fairly young. Why didn't he look up Marilla again? Why didn't Marilla offer him any friendship and support if he was alone in the world?

Gilbert is dealing with the illness and death of his father. Did that play any role in making him tease Anne by calling her Carrots? Did he despise odious Billy Andrews before Anne came to Avonlea, or is it Anne and her intelligence (despite her abrasive and awkward personality) that made him realize that Billy Andrews was a creep and a jerk? How does Gilbert feel about Ruby Gillis?  

If we're supposed to infer that Aunt Josephine never married because she is a lesbian, why was her marriage speech to Anne about choosing to have a career instead of marrying? Did Aunt Josephine have a career? Could Anne be a wife and have a career as well?

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6 hours ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

It sounded like John Blythe was widowed and returned to Avonlea when Gilbert was fairly young. Why didn't he look up Marilla again? Why didn't Marilla offer him any friendship and support if he was alone in the world?

The same thing goes for Matthew and Jeannie.  She knew exactly where Matthew was all these years.  Matthew clearly frequented that store right beside Jeannie's shop, so I don't see how they wouldn't have bumped into one another at least once in the last 30 years or so.  

6 hours ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

The things they are doing to expand on the characters is mostly add tragedy and disappointment to their lives, which is a heavy load but it's also kind of skimmed over -- the sadness is mostly presented in vignettes rather than developed in interesting and complex ways that would support the source.

Vignettes is a good way of describing it.  The show is visually beautiful, but it almost seems like a series of visuals without much depth beneath.  What was the impact of John Blythe's death on Marilla except for making her feel sad for awhile?  

6 hours ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

If we're supposed to infer that Aunt Josephine never married because she is a lesbian, why was her marriage speech to Anne about choosing to have a career instead of marrying? Did Aunt Josephine have a career? Could Anne be a wife and have a career as well?

All that Aunt Josephine stuff just made Anne seem like a typical modern boy-crazy teenager.  What I liked about Anne in the book was that she actually saw Gilbert more as competition for a long time.  She had fantasies of literary romance, but that wasn't what concerned her on a day-to-day basis.  Her academic goals seem almost secondary in this production, despite being all about feminism.

Edited by Camera One
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On 4/23/2017 at 9:59 PM, Pepper the Cat said:

How medicine has changed over the years! Rubbing onions over the feet to treat fever. Syrup of Ipeac for croup. 

Long ago (1890's) then they did use ipecac for the croup, and the diagnosis of "coup" was not so perfect as any child coughing severely and choking would be called the coup whether it was the real virus or just a serve chest cold.

So Anne really did everything wrong up to the end, because the ipecac and the cold air and the steam from water and onions on Minnie May's heels did nothing to help, but at the end by turning Minnie May upside down for gravity to pull the flem down so Minnie May could cough it out - that was the one thing to save the girl.

I see this as showing the "Anne with an E" as a much better informed version of the story, because both the assorted failed remedies of those times and the one successful procedure makes it far more realistic.

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6 hours ago, MrHammondsGhost said:

Long ago (1890's) then they did use ipecac for the croup, and the diagnosis of "coup" was not so perfect as any child coughing severely and choking would be called the coup whether it was the real virus or just a serve chest cold.

So Anne really did everything wrong up to the end, because the ipecac and the cold air and the steam from water and onions on Minnie May's heels did nothing to help, but at the end by turning Minnie May upside down for gravity to pull the flem down so Minnie May could cough it out - that was the one thing to save the girl.

I see this as showing the "Anne with an E" as a much better informed version of the story, because both the assorted failed remedies of those times and the one successful procedure makes it far more realistic.

The cold air would have helped - when my niece had croup only last year, we were specifically told that cold air was beneficial - reduces the swelling in the throat and thus eases the breathing. Steam would help dislodge mucus and ipecac would help bring the mucus up, thus also clearing the airways. Onions on the heel were the only useless thing Anne did here - the rest were all tried and tested remedies that would have contributed to the child's recovery, in the absence of the treatments available today.

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On 5/15/2017 at 0:52 AM, tennisgurl said:

I like the connection that Anne and Aunt Josephine have, and how she gave Anne a new perspective about what she could do as an adult.

Honestly, it makes me sad that Anne in the books will eventually give up her career to become a full time stay at home mom.

I too like this version of Aunt Josephine and especially where Aunt Jo gives Anne a guidance to the books by George Eliot, aka Mary Anne Evans (with an E).

My understanding about Anne is that she is a representation of L.M. Montgomery and so Anne became the world famous authoress.

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On 4/30/2017 at 8:37 PM, SeanC said:

I forgot to say earlier:  they kept the anecdote that Marilla and the Barrys were absent because they were in Charlottetown to see the premier.  In the book it's clearer that LMM is referring to Sir John A. Macdonald, the then-Prime Minister, as Marilla's line about how he didn't become premier because of his looks includes there an allusion to his having a big nose.  With this series' timeline, Sir John A. sadly may no longer be alive at this point.

It could also have been Sir Charles Tupper (at least in this timeline), who also didn't have winning looks.

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