Anne of Green Gables, Tom Term Paper

Total Length: 1865 words ( 6 double-spaced pages)

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When Anne first arrives in town, she adorns herself with wildflowers to go to Church, an act that astonishes the other churchgoers even though, as Anne indicates, many girls wear artificial flowers. Anne, unaware that placing flowers in her hair would offend anyone, realizes that nature is not revered by Christians. In fact, Churches are noticeably devoid of nature and natural beauty, which is why Anne seeks solace in the natural world and the wilderness of Avonlea. For Anne, nature is Church, and nature is the primary means for Anne to develop spiritual awareness.

Tom's spiritual growth is alluded to through his moral development. Like Anne, Tom does not develop his character through Church but rather through his observations of nature and natural law. One of Tom's formative experiences was his witnessing of Dr. Robinson's murder by Injun Joe, an event that stimulated ethical action on the part of the title character. Furthermore, Injun Joe's death at the hands of the cave illustrates a type of natural justice, a divine retribution that occurred without the meddling hands of humanity or religious law. Thus, for Tom and Anne, nature's law and nature's mysteries trump those of the Christian Church.
As coming-of-age novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Anne of Green Gables share many characterization elements in common. Both title characters relish in escaping the adult world through the wonders of nature. Both Tom and Anne perceive nature romantically, with differences according to their genders. For Tom, nature has the power to kill, to inspire survivalist instincts, and to test the character of a man. Through his treasure-hunting, his genuine attempt to run away from society, and his exploration of the cave, Tom becomes his own person. Similarly, through Anne's flowery language describing the setting of Avonlea, her simply joyous reaction to the budding of spring flowers, and her instinctual rebellion against Christian religiosity, Anne becomes a young woman. Nature permits both Tom and Anne to grow in ways that the schools and churches they attend never could. Twain and Montgomery illustrate that nature and civilization are symbolically removed in the modern world, but that both are essential for the optimal development of….....

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