Secret Garden


Secret Garden Essay, Research Paper

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett takes place in a dreary

Misselthwaite manor in England during the Victorian era. The protagonist is Mary

Lennox a selfish and spoilt 11 year old. The other major characters are Master

Colin Craven her sickly cousin, Dickon Sowerby the animal charmer, Master

Archibald Craven her reclusive uncle, Martha Sowerby a hearty housekeeper, a

dour gardener, a cheerful robin and the secret garden. The tone is melodramatic

and is told in the third person omniscient. The message about life to be learned

from the story is that its never too late to change, no matter how terrible, you

can make the best of things. Face the problems instead of cowering from them

because if your don?t they?ll never go away. Have a positive attitude, live

life and share it with the people around. Alienating yourself is not the

solution. Mary, Colin and Archibald Craven are examples of this. Mary didn?t

care for anything, she was so spoilt that nothing and no one meant anything to

he; she was so used to everybody hating her. Colin is also spoilt and filled

with ideas that he?s going to die. Archibald is the coward that can?t face

reality or the hope for a better tomorrow. The one thing they all have in common

is negatively, you get the sense that they would rather be dead and in reality

it?s like they are because they don?t care about anything. Mary is tossed

around like a rag doll nobody wants; Colin is expecting to die and Master Craven

runs from the possibilities of getting to know his son. In The Secret Garden

there is person vs. society and person vs. her/himself. In person vs. society

Mary is unloved by her parents and by most of those who she encounters. Her

parents ignore her existence and leave her to the care of a hateful ayah. After

her parents die she moves to live with her uncle and is greeted by Mrs. Medlock

who finds her a disagreeable child. She and others don?t give Mary a chance;

they judge and sentence her. They do the same to Colin; they don?t give him

hopes of living and expect him to die soon. Person vs. her/himself is found when

Mary, Colin and Master Craven have to find the courage to face the harsh world.

They all fear this loneliness which they bring amongst themselves by withdrawing

themselves from the world The climax in the story would have to be when Mary

can?t handle Colins tantrums and all his ranting and raving about the lump on

his back that?s going to kill him. She realizes that the way that Colin acts

was the same way she used to be and she sets him straight. She doesn?t give in

to his hysterics and proves to him that the only lumps on his back are his

bones. From that day on things change, Mary tells him about the garden and Colin

gets a sudden interest in life. After that Mary takes him to the garden and this

view on life changes, he says "I shall live for ever- and ever- and

ever." It?s a combination of events with the help of different characters

that bring this story to its conclusion. But it all starts with Mary?s arrival

to the manor and her curiosity about the secret garden. Mary was used to being

served and being alone, neglected by her parents she becomes bitter. "Full

of disagreeable thoughts about her dislikes and sour opinions of people and her

determination not to be pleased by or interested in anything." There was no

meaning in Mary?s life and that?s why she was bitter, that changed when she

moved to Misselthwaite where she discovers the secret garden with fantastic

healing powers. The garden is walled up and has been locked up for years. With

the gardener?s apprentice, Dickon, Mary coaxes the garden back to life. The

garden seems to have a wonderful, magical effect on all those who come into it,

allowing Mary to help restore Colin to health and a reunion with his father.

It?s a story where faith restores health, flowers refresh the spirit and the

magic of the garden coming to life after years of neglect brings both Colin and

Mary health and happiness. The garden helped Mary regenerate then helped Colin

help himself and at last Master Craven. Hope was regained and the loss they had

all endued stayed behind in the past.

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