Last night, we watched a recent version of Anne of Green Gables produced by Masterpiece Theatre and broadcast here in the US on PBS. (We keep a subscription to PBS offerings enabling streaming of a wide variety of genres which are both informative and entertaining. Link is below.) Clean and gentle, the story moves like a placid river in a pastoral setting, even to a point of ridiculosity perhaps, by today’s standards of in-your-face-so-deal-with-it-you-stupid-butthead reality. By that, I don’t mean sappy as in Ozzie and Harriet. I just recognize a simplicity of content reflecting the culture of a small, Canadian town in the early 20th century.
The world Anne Shirley inhabits is portrayed without an acknowledgement that war, social inequity, oppression, greed, poverty and lust exist elsewhere in the world — or even hidden within the fabric of the local community. It is a white world of European descent and its accessory order. An order affirmed by the story line’s circumstances and in today’s politically correct climate would more likely be stated as “condoned.” However, the affirmation is an unintended consequence of relating a true to life microcosm. The main character near the end of the episode has endured the loss of a loved one and an auxiliary loss of income which has altered the course of her future, yet she grapples with her reality and surmises in the midst of a gorgeous spring day, “God is in His heaven, and all’s right with the world.”
Bob Dylan, meet Anne Shirley. Often the larger world, full of its uncertainty and pain, and our personal microcosm of living are very different.