Matthew cuthbert is surpris

Words: 501-600

Skills: Character Traits Context Clues Summary

Grades: 4th 5th 6th

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Prose

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CCSS: Reading: Literature

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Matthew Cuthbert Is Surprised


by Lucy Maud Montgomery from Anne of Green Gables

Chapter II passage: This passage from the classic "Anne of Green Gables" is about aging Matthew Cuthbert's surprise that the orphan boy he and his sister plan to adopt turns out to be a girl -- Anne. After reading the passage, students will respond to questions on character traits, the plot, and the language.

Reading Comprehension Passage

Matthew Cuthbert Is Surprised

by Lucy Maud Montgomery from Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables is about a young orphan girl, Anne Shirley, who is adopted by the aging siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. In this passage, Matthew has gone to the train station to pick up the orphan, except Matthew is expecting a boy, not a girl.

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She had been watching him ever since he had passed her and she had her eyes on him now. Matthew was not looking at her and would not have seen what she was really like if he had been, but an ordinary observer would have seen this: A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish-gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, which looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.

So far, the ordinary observer; an extraordinary observer might have seen that the chin was very pointed and pronounced; that the big eyes were full of spirit and vivacity; that the mouth was sweet-lipped and expressive; that the forehead was broad and full; in short, our discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-child of whom shy Matthew Cuthbert was so ludicrously afraid.

Matthew, however, was spared the ordeal of speaking first, for as soon as she concluded that he was coming to her she stood up, grasping with one thin brown hand the handle of a shabby, old-fashioned carpet-bag; the other she held out to him.

“I suppose you are Mr. Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables?” she said in a peculiarly clear, sweet voice. “I’m very glad to see you. I was beginning to be afraid you weren’t coming for me and I was imagining all the things that might have happened to prevent you. I had made up my mind that if you didn’t come for me to-night I’d go down the track to that big wild cherry-tree at the bend, and climb up into it to stay all night. I wouldn’t be a bit afraid, and it would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry-tree all white with bloom in the moonshine, don’t you think? You could imagine you were dwelling in marble halls, couldn’t you? And I was quite sure you would come for me in the morning, if you didn’t to-night.”

Matthew had taken the scrawny little hand awkwardly in his; then and there he decided what to do. He could not tell this child with the glowing eyes that there had been a mistake; he would take her home and let Marilla do that. She couldn’t be left at Bright River anyhow, no matter what mistake had been made, so all questions and explanations might as well be deferred until he was safely back at Green Gables.


Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. What are three adjectives you would use to describe Anne's personality?



2. Take one of the adjectives you picked for Anne and explain why you think it applies to her. Use quotations from the passage to support your conclusion.



3. What was Anne's plan of action if Matthew hadn't arrived?



4.  What does scrawny mean here: "Matthew had taken the scrawny little hand awkwardly in his"?