In vivid contrast to Hetty’s brusque approach to people, Olivia provides a warm and comforting environment to Sarah from the first moment of her arrival in Avonlea, and warns Hetty that if she is not careful with “that child’s feelings, we may never see her again!” She is highly sensitive to criticism, but also confrontational when you get her riled up—she doesn’t like her sister’s insinuations that she is “all heart, and not a lick of common sense,” but will challenge her on whatever she says and stand up for herself if necessary. Olivia wants to see the best in people. It takes her a long time to figure out what she wants to do, and that her passion is for writing, but then she goes after being a journalist with gusto; she objects to the idea that there is no interesting news in Avonlea and goes out to find human interest stories to raise interest in local affairs. Seeing that Jasper Dale has a camera, and thinking that photographs might help them sell more papers, she enlists him to help her and uncovers an old mystery tied to some love letters in a trunk. Though prone to ‘flights of fancy’ alongside Sarah, Olivia is also more grounded and cautious in leaping to conclusions. She meticulously hunts down her leads to make her stories as accurate as possible, and has a boundless enthusiasm for life, and everyone in it.

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Olivia is the peace maker in the family and often asks her sister and others to stop quarreling, or will just leave the room to avoid an argument. She is compassionate and tolerant, accepting Jasper and his relatives despite their eccentricities and being upset with her sister for her bluntness and rudeness. Olivia did nothing for a long time, showing a general inertia that her sister took as “fanciful thinking and frittering away her time.” But once she decides to do something, such as write for the newspaper, or get married to Jasper, she will tolerate no arguments. Her own explosions of anger seem “big” to her, and she would rather just leave than “watch her sister gloat” over her being wrong. She often champions for people to talk to each other, calmly, and listen, rather than flying off the handle, and feels most disappointed in Sarah whenever she has caused trouble of some sort or been cruel.