Anne of Green Gables: The Children Would Have Been Afraid

But I wish the artist hadn’t painted Him so sorrowful-looking. All His pictures are like that, if you’ve noticed. But I don’t believe He could really have looked so sad or the children would have been afraid of Him.

p. 69

Anne has a way of calling out our misguided propriety. For the same reason that Marilla is uncomfortable with this statement about a picture of Jesus, she is uncomfortable with Anne’s play-by-play of Sunday school and church. In Marilla’s mind, one doesn’t just talk about those things in that way: the religious artifact, whether a picture of Jesus or a sermon, is not open to criticism—except to Anne, whose imagination allows her to think of what could be, not just of what is. 

It’s not that Anne is critical to perfection. She just sees beauty in flawed nature and assumes we should reflect that back in our art—and our sermons. 

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