Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

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Timothy
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Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by Timothy » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:34 pm

A recent Macleans article covers Guelph University professor Helen Hoy's suggestion that Anne may have suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Leave Anne alone!
An academic suggests Canada’s most beloved literary heroine had fetal alcohol syndrome
by Anne Kingston on Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In “ ‘Too Heedless and Impulsive’: Re-reading Anne of Green Gables through a Clinical Approach,” Hoy concludes that the very traits that have endeared Anne to generations—her flights of fancy, her loquacity, her theatricality, her impulsiveness—suggest she suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD...

At the time, Hoy was doing a lot of reading about FASD, a condition her adopted daughter has. “Anne’s challenging behaviours kept ringing bells for me,” she says, referring to the character’s chatterbox ways, her imprudent fearlessness, her slate-crashing and foot-stamping, her difficulty connecting cause and effect, and propensity to leap off on tangents—and from roofs.

The co-facilitator of a FASD caregiver support group, Hoy is upfront about her agenda: she wants to use Anne as a bridge to create greater tolerance toward a condition that afflicts at least one per cent of Canadians. Seeing the character “as developmentally challenged, with her impairments the source of some of her charm,” Hoy writes, blurs the line between what we see as normal and abnormal, or as she puts it: “destabilizes the bifurcation of normal and abnormal.” She also wants to redress FASD’s “association with marginalized communities, specifically impoverished and First Nations populations.”

...FASD children also possess many of Anne’s strengths, Hoy notes, such as a trusting friendliness and flair for storytelling.


What are your thoughts? Do you think Anne might have suffered from FASD?

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by StoryJan » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:28 pm

I think I agree with the article title: "Leave Anne alone!" People have been arguing for centuries over whether a person's behavior is dependent upon their environment or their genetic make-up. LMM seems to attribute Anne's behavior to her environment rather than her parents, who were always presented in a respectable way. Her parents were teachers who happened to become sick; perhaps they had vices, but it was never suggested in any of the novels that Bertha Shirley "took to the drink." It always irritates me when groups like these use a well known character to further their personal agenda, regardless of whether or not they match. Helen Hoy and FASD should just leave Anne alone.

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Timothy
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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by Timothy » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:20 am

StoryJan wrote: Her parents were teachers who happened to become sick; perhaps they had vices, but it was never suggested in any of the novels that Bertha Shirley "took to the drink." It always irritates me when groups like these use a well known character to further their personal agenda, regardless of whether or not they match. Helen Hoy and FASD should just leave Anne alone.
You're absolutely right. There's no mention that Bertha Shirley consumed any type of alchohol whatsoever and that makes this theory completely baseless. How did it get passed peer review?

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by felicity18 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:24 am

StoryJan wrote:I think I agree with the article title: "Leave Anne alone!" People have been arguing for centuries over whether a person's behavior is dependent upon their environment or their genetic make-up. LMM seems to attribute Anne's behavior to her environment rather than her parents, who were always presented in a respectable way. Her parents were teachers who happened to become sick; perhaps they had vices, but it was never suggested in any of the novels that Bertha Shirley "took to the drink." It always irritates me when groups like these use a well known character to further their personal agenda, regardless of whether or not they match. Helen Hoy and FASD should just leave Anne alone.
I totally agree with you! That Helen Hoy doesn't have the sense God gave geese! Why don't those people who constently find ways to pick on characters like Anne just leave her alone! Leave Anne alone!

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by HistoryMiner » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:08 pm

I get that she wants to tackle the problem of FASD, but a university researcher should know you can't select only certain facts to back up a hypothesis, and disregard the rest. It's so ridiculous it's almost laughable.

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by midknight » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:59 pm

That so ridiculous. If Anne does have a metal disorder it is ADD. I my self have it and I realized that why I relate so much to Anne. I even wrote a paper for a women Lit class where I discussed this theory and Anne behavior does match up with typical traits of some suffering from ADD. At the same time as the novel progress she able to adjust and over come the behaviors which is common among most suffer of ADD. A good example of why I think she suffers from ADD is that part at the beginning of the novel when she and Mathew are riding back to Green Gables and Anne is continually talk. The patten her thought follow are exactly like mine with out medication. In course of page she start of at one place but ends up in a different spot by the time she finished. With ADD one thought quickly leads to another, and to another and so on, so that you have to think back to where you where,

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by hannikan » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:22 am

HistoryMiner wrote:I get that she wants to tackle the problem of FASD, but a university researcher should know you can't select only certain facts to back up a hypothesis, and disregard the rest. It's so ridiculous it's almost laughable.
Definitely! It's a very revisionist rewriting of the story to try to make Anne fit into a role merely because she wants her to. It simply doesn't work nor make sense. I'm trying to remember if in Anne 4 Anne's father was supposed to be a drinker. Isn't he supposed to be friends with Mr. Thomas, the alcoholic? Wasn't he drinking with Mr. Thomas the night Mr. Thomas died? I wonder if that's where she got the idea from. Still even in Anne 4, which is very revisionist of Anne's story-but it never pretends not to be-I don't think Walter Shirley was supposed to be an alcoholic. Certainly Bertha Shirley isn't in Anne 4 and the mother would need to have drunk alcohol when she was pregnant with Anne for Anne to develop FASD. Anne 4 was a fictional experiment, not a an effort to use a fictional character for clinical ends.

IMO, it is ridiculous to assign any clinical diagnosis to a fictional character. There is no way you can attribute disorders to Anne simply because she was an imaginative, high energy, talkative child. I can show you many children of such characteristics who are healthy and the quintessential happy kid. Yes, Anne has some darkness in her past, well described by Montgomery, and implied that her imagination was a coping mechanism to escape that darkness. But it makes me very sad to think that people will tack on whatever medical problems are buzzworthy at the moment to children with Anne's qualities to serve their own ends.
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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by Miss Lewis » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:16 am

I laughed at just seeing the title "Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder". It seems funny.

That said, sadly some creative people, like Anne, are misunderstood and people try to label them as having some "disorder". They perfectly normal--just not normal to the person who is doing the labeling.

I've seen many people with ADD who are very smart. They can process things at quicker rank then many people. They label as different because they don't fit the "normal" group of students.

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by LittleMissLynde » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:22 pm

Erg. I'm getting so annoyed with analysts spending so much time trying to decide what mental disorders fictional characters have. Earlier today, I read one that claimed Beatrix Potter's character Squirrel Nutkins had Tourette Syndrome because he made chattering noises-not because he was, you know, A Squirrel!! I'm just not buying Anne's having fetal alcohol spectrum disorder because there is nothing to indicate a cause. She may display a few symptoms but they are also symptoms of other disorders. Or just being a kid who had a sad and lonely life.
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Miss Lewis
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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by Miss Lewis » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:40 am

Welcome to the boards LittleMissLynde!
Erg. I'm getting so annoyed with analysts spending so much time trying to decide what mental disorders fictional characters have.
It is sooo true. These days many people like to put a "label" to different behaviors. We all have unique habits. I think, the labels are only useful if they define a certain set of behaviors that are linked to a generic disorder. It's harder to define something when there no generic link associated to it. They exist but they are harder to define.

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by Wild Roses » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:49 pm

On the Ingleside Forum, someone posted this and seeing it over here, it still amuses me that Anne would linked to fetal alchohol syndrome. Anne has her problems as a heroine, but a diagnostic for FAS isn't one of them. Poor Bertha Shirley!

Somewhere, you know Susan and Rachel are coming up with memorables jabs about this. (Well, I like to imagine they are. I imagine LMM herself would have a few witty things to say about Anne having FAS.)

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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by hannikan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:40 pm

Wild Roses wrote: Somewhere, you know Susan and Rachel are coming up with memorable jabs about this. (Well, I like to imagine they are. I imagine LMM herself would have a few witty things to say about Anne having FAS.)
Oh yes, for sure!!
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Re: Anne and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Post by SarahKingPike » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:39 pm

Things like this were the problems that i always had with being an english major. when i was in school we would have to disect the work and all that jazz...the problem that i would run into is most of the time i was the one sitting in the back of the room asking for the proof from the author to support what a classmate was saying. as a writer myself sure i put things into my writing but these people that take it over board are nuts. some times traits of a character is just the traits of a character. for better or worse they are who they are.

have you seen the pyscholigical winnie the pooh? it states the pooh is umbalanced and so on and so on.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1068391.stm
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