Books, For Readers

Friday’s Literary SMACKDOWN — Who’s the Stronger Character?

Laura Ingalls vs. Anne Shirley

Yes, my readers, it’s Literary Smackdown time. In this corner, we have Laura Ingalls Wilder of the Little House series — a sassy pioneer with spunk and spirit who can sew on a button before you’ve (done) finished this sentence. In the other corner, we have Anne Shirley Blythe of Anne of Green Gables — a red-headed, hot-headed young lady more bewitching than Elizabeth Montgomery. Do these characters match up in their ability to beguile their readers, or is there a clear winner? The stats, if you please…

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Nickname

  • Half-pint

Personality Traits

  •  Stubborn, feisty,
  •  Good imagination, hard-working

Family Life

  • Loving home, three sisters (a brother died as a baby) Ma, and a Pa who cries every episode…

Trials of Childhood

  • What didn’t happen to this family?

Education

  • One-room school
  • Head of the class

Difficult Neighbors

  • Cloud-sniffing Olsen’s

Love Life

  • Amanzo Wilder
  • Laura played hard to get…a little bit

Getting into Trouble

  • Sent home from school for rocking a bench
  • Never as good as “perfect” sister Mary

Trials of Adulthood

  • Read, The First Four Years — it’s a huge downer!  Or, don’t.

Please Note

  • Though the books are deemed fiction, Laura was a real person, that really went through most of the stuff that happened.  Really!
Anne Shirley

Nickname(s)

  • Anne Girl, Anne with an “E”

Personality Traits

  • Stubborn, feisty, an imagination akin to drug-induced state
Family Life
  • Orphan until age eleven, then with sweet Matthew, and rough around the edges Marilla

Trials of Childhood

  • Well, she was an orphan!

Education

  • One-room school
  • Tied for head of class with Gilbert Blythe

Difficult Neighbors

  • Busy-body Rachel Lynde

Love Life

  • Gilbert Blythe
  • Love-hate courtship where Anne was always the winner
Getting into Trouble
  • Drunk on raspberry cordial, green hair
  • So much more!

Trials of Adulthood

  • Illness, loss of a baby, but the later books are more about her children

Please Note

  • Prince Edward Island does exist, but the fiery Anne (sadly) did not.

What say you, readers?  Is it a toss-up?  Anne is the run-away winner in my house, but, either way, these two gals are characters we’ll never forget, and that continue to enchant new readers (and writers) alike. 

Are there any other characters you’d like to see doing battle in the ring?

Until next time…

(Photo credit — Wiki Media, and my oldest daughter…you rock!)

27 thoughts on “Friday’s Literary SMACKDOWN — Who’s the Stronger Character?”

    1. Thanks, Erika. I mostly go through my days amusing only myself, so it’s nice to amuse others sometimes as well. Yes, Anne definitely jumps off this list to me.

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  1. Amanda this was fantastic and hilarious, I love the Literary Smackdown! 🙂
    I haven’t read any of the books but “Drunk on raspberry cordial, green hair and So much more” ?!! -I say go Anne Girl 😉

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  2. The fact that I immediately knew what book cover the original “Smackdown” photo insert of Laura came from is a little frightening. (Nice job to your oldest on picking a photo with the “action hair”. I will never look at that cover the same way again. ;)) I’ve read the Laura books dozens of times, and love them. I started reading the Anne books quite some time ago, and loved those as well. I think I like them too much, actually, as I’ve been “saving” the rest to finish for…years?, as I don’t want them to end. However, for sentimental reasons, plus greater familiarity, Laura edges out a win for me.

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    1. I feel loyal to Laura, too, but my gut chooses Anne. And, yes, that picture of Laura was chosen for its “action hair.” They’re both such happy, calm-looking boxers, aren’t they?

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  3. A smackdown idea that comes to my mind, especially after reading your entries here, would be Marion from “The Edible Woman” vs. Bridget Jones of The Diary. Or, if we’re going rough and tumble boys, I’d love to see how a fourth grade nothing matches up to a boy who knows how to eat fried worms.

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  4. I never read the Anne of Green Gables books, but I still have all my Little House… books, pages disintegrating and all.

    Bridget Jones vs Eliza Bennett?

    Eliza any time!

    Paddington vs Winnie the Pooh?

    Definitely Paddington, Disney have ruined Winnie completely – Paddington is king of the bears!
    (Particularly if you listen to the audio books read by Stephen Fry – although that may just be a British thing).

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  5. Anne, most definitely! I think Laura could put up a fight, but Anne would go for gold.

    Love your blog! Thanks so much for the comment on mine!

    Best,

    Brittany

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  6. Its anne for me! I’ve never read the other series. Which book should i read first? I’m not sure of its sequence.

    Literary smackdown: Chronicles of Narnia Siblings vs. Harry Potter and Friends?? Just an idea.

    Really enjoyed this post!

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    1. Another good idea — thanks! The first book of the Little House books is, “Little House in the Big Woods.” It’s not the best of the series (in my opinion), but it’s a fast read.

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  7. I don’t know that I ever got into the Anne books, but now I may have to do just that, especially since I want to reread the Laura books with Natalie.

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  8. What a fabulous post and what a great trip down Memory Lane! I read all of both series, the Little House ones first and then the Anne ones – and evey spin off I could find – Emily of New Moon, Rilla of Ingleside, short stories.

    Loved both but it’s Anne hands down.

    Found your blog by following you back from Erika’s blog – I’ll definitely be back!

    Downith

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  9. Here from your comment on my review of Anne of Green Gables at The Blue Bookshelf.

    I must admit that I’ve never read the Little House series (but what can you expect from someone who only just read Green Gables?).

    So I’m going to defer to your supremely wise judgement here, and go with Anne. Love the literary smackdown idea!

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