Anne enters Avonlea society for the first time as she attends church.

But first, Marilla presents her with some new dresses made from fabric she got on sale.

“I’ll imagine that I like them,” said Anne soberly.

I don’t want you to imagine it,” said Marilla, offended. “Oh, I can see you don’t like the dresses! What is the matter with them? Aren’t they clean and neat and new?”

“Yes.”

“Then why don’t you like them?”

“They’re- they’re not- pretty,” Anne said reluctantly.

Their main fault is that they lack puffed sleeves (Marilla thought it would be a waste of fabric), but they’re also generally unflattering to Anne’s figure.

On Sunday morning, however, Marilla has a debilitating headache, so Anne ends up walking to church by herself.

Her hat was a little, flat, glossy new sailor, the extreme plainness of which had likewise much disappointed Anne, who had permitted herself secret visions of ribbon and flowers. The latter, however, were supplied before Anne reached the main road, for being confronted halfway down the lane with a golden frenzy of wind-stirred buttercups and a glory of wild roses. Anne promptly and liberally garlanded her hat with a heavy wreath of them.

The girls in Sunday School had already hear tell of the strange orphan girl, but no one approaches her, and her Sunday School teacher largely aims the questions at her (which she largely answers correctly, as Marilla had her study the lesson).

Anne does everything Marilla had instructed her to, and after she gets home, this is her conclusion:

“I didn’t like it a bit. It was horrid.”

The preacher began with a long-winded prayer, and poor Anne felt left out because all the other girls in her class had puffed sleeves.

Miss Rogerson asked ever so many [questions]. I don’t think it was fair for her to do all the asking. There were lots I wanted to aske her, but I didn’t like to because I didn’t think she was a kindred spirit. […] The sermon was awfully long, too. I suppose the minister had to match it to the text. I didn’t think it was a bit interesting. The trouble with him seems to be he hasn’t enough imagination. I didn’t listen to him vey much. I just let my thoughts run and I thought of the most surprising things.

Well, whatever else can be said for Anne, at least she’s honest about her feelings.

Marilla felt helplessly that all this should be sternly reproved, but she was hampered by the undeniable fact that some of the things Anne had said, especially about the minister’s sermons and Mr. Bell’s prayers, were what she herself had really thought deep down in her heart for years, but had never given expression to. It almost seemed to her that those secret, unuttered, critical thoughts had suddenly taken visible and accusing shape and form in the person of this outspoken morsel of neglected humanity.

Until next time…

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