'Anne With An E' Shows Issues With Society
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'Anne With An E': The Underrated Netflix Series That Explores 5 Tragic Societal Issues Is A Must watch

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will." — Anne of Green Gables

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With its recent release of season two on Netflix, 'Anne With An E' does not disappoint fans, effectively portraying hardships of every day lives. As an avid fan of this Netflix series, I believe that this show is not only intriguing to bestow a large amount of time upon, but it is also a magnificent show that discusses about common societal issues we face in the modern world. To provide a brief background of the show, Anne is an orphan who has experienced a difficult childhood, as she appears to be rather peculiar. She tends to use words such as "glorious," "magnificent" and "splendid"—all uncommon words one would expect a young child would utter. The series begins with her being adopted by her new guardians: siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert from Green Gables. From then on, Anne begins her new life by adapting to Avonlea and its harsh and judgmental society.

Throughout the series, Anne encounters various types of societal issues that are commonly found in the modern world. With her determination and optimism, Anne pushes through each obstacle and turns Avonlea into its best.

1. Prejudice

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In season one of 'Anne With An E,' Anne experiences prejudice in the land of Avonlea. With a personality that is not typical in Avonlea, Anne gets scrutinized by all people of Avonlea. Anne, a free-willed child who is never afraid of speaking her mind, gets excluded by other girls in her school and made fun of by boys as well. Anne continuously tries to fit in. It wasn't until she risked her life by entering a burning home that she was mostly accepted by majority of the town. Nevertheless, some children still found her to be peculiar to the point of even refusing to remain in the same room as Anne. The cruelest part of prejudice against Anne is that these people chose to be upfront about their dislike towards Anne. Anne lived her day-to-day life attending school and wandering the streets of Avonlea, knowing everyone finds her odd and distasteful.

Rather than immediately judging people of their characters and excluding others, we should choose to persevere and learn more about individuals. Despite the fact that Anne did not necessarily have a filter to her conversations (especially when she talked about sex), Anne does have a kind heart and personality. She always tries to help others. The most admirable aspect of Anne when she was looked down upon by many people in Avonlea was that she never gave up to show how special she was. She continued to stay true to herself, without changing one single thing about herself.

2. Racism

Racism, a common issue still existent in society, was strongly portrayed in season two. Once Gilbert returns to Avonlea with his new friend Sebastian, we discover that the people of Avonlea harshly discriminate Sebastian. In fact, the viewers are first introduced to the idea that people in Avonlea are not accustomed to seeing colored people wandering around, as Marilla and Matthew were both stunned when they first laid eyes on Sebastian. Racism is portrayed more harshly once Sebastian, also known as Bash, seeks for salt in a local store. When the store owner claims there is no salt in the store, when there is clearly an insurmountable amount of salt behind him, Bash realizes that Avonlea is not the best place to reside in. In addition, Gilbert and Sebastian were turned away from riding a train due to Sebastian's skin color, despite the fact that they had paid tickets to ride the train.

Upon watching this scene, I was absolutely shocked on how harsh racism was portrayed in this series. However, it's not wrong. There are still many people who discriminate others who are not of the same ethnicity. The show was merely showing the harsh reality of the impact racism has on people's lives, especially Sebastian's. Some people do, in fact, turn away colored people using slander. The harsh contrast between cruel people and kind people in Avonlea is emphasized clearly. This series also shows us that there are people who do not discriminate, but welcome. Anne showed no discrimination against Sebastian, as she enthusiastically welcomed him to Avonlea. She did mention his different skin color, however, she respected it.

3. Economic Hardship


Earning your money based off of a farmer's life is rather difficult; the work is intensive yet the money you earn is not as much compared to modern society's average salary. The median-household average salary in 2017 is close to $60,000. On the other hand, one learns that majority of the people in Avonlea earn approximately 300 dollars per year, as Matthew stated that even 150 dollars is close to half of what the people of Avonlea earn per year. Each male figure in the series strives to create a better future for his family, even to the point of risking money to supposedly earn more money. However, it's always the women that are left out of the decision.

Once disaster struck after men's feeble attempts of profiting off of more money, it's always the women who comes by and carries these men through their self-loathing period. Specifically, in season two, Mr. Barry makes the mistake of losing the entire town's money after being deceived by two men who encounter Avonlea and claims there is gold. Economic hardship can be difficult on a family, to the point of possibly tearing it apart. But through compassion and unity, one can push through and defy the odds against them.

4. Homosexuality

In season two, viewers got to view more on how homosexuals were accepted and how they received the support they needed. Two homosexual characters, Cole and Aunt Josephine, largely played a role in portrayed the accepting side of coming out to society. With Cole coming out to Anne, viewers realize why Cole always felt unusual. The conflicting ideas of being gay allowed him to believe that he was "not normal." Always bullied by other boys, Cole never felt like he belonged in school to the point he decided to never attend school. When attending Aunt Josephine's soiree, Cole encounters several other homosexuals and becomes happier than ever.

The series shows viewers that with the right people, being homosexual isn't something to be ashamed of. Anne, Aunt Josephine, and many others supported Cole through his hardships. However, one character within the series discovers he himself is gay, yet punishes Cole for being the very person he is because he is ashamed of who he is. This series shows us that we shouldn't hide our true selves. We should embrace our true selves, and if someone does not accept who you are, they don't deserve to have you in their lives. Like Cole, he found his crowd with Anne and Aunt Josephine, two very people who appreciate and still love him just the way he truly is.

5. Bullying

Bullying is a still-common form of a societal issue. Despite the fact that there has been some precautions against bullying, it still remains. Within the 'Anne with An E' series, there has been various cases of bullying, both including the adults and children. Surprisingly, there were even forms of bullying between two close friends. For the children, there is Billy.

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Billy always found ways to torment other children, especially those who are peculiar: Anne and Cole. Every day he chose to scare them and find new ways to get them into trouble by their teacher. There was no ends to his tormenting unless someone else showed up to stop him. For Anne, it was Gilbert who came. For Cole, it was Anne. There's nothing more painful than seeing other children bringing down others without a single hint of remorse. It wasn't until he himself was hurt at the very end of season two till he became to realize his errors.

The most surprising aspect of the bullying found in this Netflix series was that Billy's parents played no role in fixing his son's errors. It wasn't until Cole spoke to him till Billy began to think back on what he was doing to others. There's nothing more perfect in a series when a bully begins to realize the pain he or she is causing to others.


If you have time to spare throughout this summer, I would highly recommend watching this show. This show is perhaps the most meaningful and symbolic series I have ever witnessed. Not only that, but 'Anne With An E' offers a sense of reality by tackling various issues found throughout the world through the point of view of the most optimistic girl I have ever met. This show, without a doubt, will not disappoint. You can watch this show on Netflix.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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