July has been declared Literary Weekly Crush month, meaning every week for the month of July every one of my Weekly Crushes will be from books. Starting with…
How You Know Him:
Sometimes enemy, sometimes friend, but always love interest to Anne Shirley in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, and Anne of Ingleside, as well as Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside.
Why He’s Crushworthy:
I think that, perhaps, the real question here is why isn’t he crushworthy? I recently wrote a piece about Fitzwilliam Darcy and how I don’t quite understand, though I do love him dearly, why he is so universally adored by women. I came up with a laundry list of his attributes, but continue in my relative dispassion for him. Still, when I sat down to figure out why I love Gilbert Blythe I realized the two have some serious similarities.
Gilbert Blythe meets Anne Shirley in the most unfortunate of circumstances. It’s the first day of school and Anne’s a new student. She’s clearly smart and is clearly different from the other silly girls at school so it’s no surprise that Gilbert’s interested in her. So, it’s a shame that when he’s trying to get her attention he calls her “Carrots”, when she’s already in the depths of despair over the gingerness of her hair, and pulls on one of her long braids. Well, he’s young, somewhat smug, given his popularity with the girls, and clearly meant no harm. But Anne breaks her slate over his head and, despite his continual apologies, refuses to forgive him for several years. Yes that’s right, years.
His admiration doesn’t waver though and eventually they develop an academic rivalry, good natured on his part and slightly more toxic on hers, that eventually grows into a good friendship. But then of course Gilbert has been in love with Anne for about as long as he can remember (actually I’m pretty sure that’s a line in the second movie, if not the book as well), and even though she initially denies she feels the same way (as he doesn’t perfectly match her overly dramatic “ideal”) she eventually realizes she can’t accept anyone else and they get married and have six kids.
I think one of the things that makes Gilbert so damned appealing is the same thing that makes Darcy appealing to so many; his absolute refusal to give up on Anne. But, while Darcy is fantastically wealthy, handsome, and gallant, Gilbert is just sort of… ordinary. Which I find far more appealing than wealth and status.
And then there is the element of academics. I don’t think I have to try to hard to convince anyone that I’m a fan of Academics. Cute is all well and good, but it’s worth nothing if you can’t carry on an intelligent conversation. Gilbert worked hard in school, tying with Anne at being first in class, and then went on to college and university to become a doctor. When his proposal was refused he threw himself into his studies, trying to get a scholarship for medical school, rather than running around with the first floozy who threw herself at him. And given the point that he’s supposed to be attractive and popular I don’t think it would have been too hard to find an Anne replacement.
Plus, he’s fair, has a lot of comment sense, a great sense of humor, intelligence, and wit. What else could a girl really want? I guess I wouldn’t mind a good teasing every once in awhile: