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Marilla and Anne in the buggy

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Marilla on the grounds of Green Gables

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Marilla and Anne at Green Gables

Marilla Cuthbert is Anne's mother figure. She and her older brother, Matthew, thought that they were going to get a boy, so when they received Anne Shirley, Marilla initially wanted to return her. Matthew, however, grows to like the orphan, and convinces his sister to keep Anne. Marilla tries to get Anne to be more sensible, meek, simple and polite, but she soon realizes that the task is near impossible. She tells Matthew that she'll be the one to raise Anne, although she gets lots of advice from him along the way.

She had one beau in her life, Gilbert Blythe's father. But they fought too much, and when she was ready to forgive him, he wasn't interested anymore. She spent most of her life at Green Gables, looking after her father with Matthew and working on the farm. She is known for her excellent cooking and baking, as well as her red currant wine. Anne mistakes it for raspberry cordial at a tea party with Diana when Marilla is out of town for a Ladies' Aid Society meeting. Marilla visits Mrs. Barry and tried to explain the situation to her, but Mrs. Barry wouldn't hear of it. Marilla loses her temper and called Diana Barry a "greedy child" because Diana Barry drank four or five glasses of the wine at once.

Marilla is a very determined and stubborn woman, and tells Anne not to think of her and to think of her education, but Anne says, "Marilla, I'm sixteen years old and just as stubborn as you are", and tells Marilla that she'll be working at Avonlea Public School so she can be with her. Marilla dies at the age of 86 in 1910, before Jem Blythe, Anne's eldest son, joins the army.
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Marilla and Anne walking at Green Gables