The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Writing in the Washington Times about a musical production of the play created from The Secret Garden, Jayne M. Blanchard (2002. P. DO2) noted that the children, Mary and Colin, "are spiritually and physically revived, actually given a reason to soldier on, when they coax back to life a long-neglected private garden." Blanchard found the production overly gloomy and filled with "adult angst." But then again, she thought the death in childbirth of Colin's mother was too Victorian. Unfortunately, while the setting of the book may have been Victorian, The Secret Garden was written thirty years after that era had ended. While Mary and Colin, two children as unlikable ...

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the benefit of the discipline that would have befallen them had they been poor children who were orphaned and sent to a Victorian workhouse. Then, like Oliver in Oliver Twist, they would have had to escape to gain relief. And that would have been their salvation, as it arguably was his.
Of course, Oliver did find family; Mary has none, and Colin's father is, for all intents and purposes, dead, too. Therefore, in many ways, Mary and Colin are worse off than Oliver Twist, whose tale really was written in the Victorian era by a Victorian writer.
The narrator in The Secret Garden makes it clear repeatedly that Mary is a victim of fate and circumstances. In an adult, one might be tempted to say, "Oh, poor you. Get over it, and make a life!" But children are different. Then, and now, they are supposed to be cared for by responsible, and with any luck, loving adults.
Mary was not even an inconvenience to her own parents; she was a cipher. She was given over to the care of a ...

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entirely at the mother's feet.
In fact, understanding children is the forte of the sympathetic characters in the book. Even when noticing that children called Mary "Mistress Mary Quite Contrary," Mrs. Crawford forgives their naughtiness in the name-calling because, considering the foul disposition of the child, it must be a wonder to her that the other children don't taunt Mary even more cruelly.
While the narrator does not make a show of 'forgiving' Mary for her peevishness, her imperiousness and general miserable conduct, she does note that Mary, then age ten, was just beginning to be self-aware. The narrator notes "She often thought other people were (disagreeable), but she did ...

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Added: 11/25/2016 08:01:59 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1437
Pages: 6

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