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The Secret Garden: Chapters 7, 8 and 9 
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Post The Secret Garden: Chapters 7, 8 and 9
The Secret Garden: Chapters 7, 8 and 9

Please use this thread for discussing Chapters 7, 8 and 9 of "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. You may also create your own threads if you'd like to make comments that don't necessarily pertain to specific chapters.

Chapter 7 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... tgarden/7/
Chapter 8 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... tgarden/8/
Chapter 9 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... tgarden/9/



Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:46 pm
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Post Magic
Finally have my hard copy of this book so no more screen reading. Much more pleasurable.

The magic spoken of earlier is rolling out now as Mary explores her new environment and benefits from the moorish winds and bracing air and benefits from her new found friendships. I think the author does a good job of capturing a sense of her awakening and discovery and how others are more open towards her. The interaction of the characters and their natural environment is striking and I find the reflections on her previous life in India and the contrast of the natural and social environment between colonial India and the moors of Yorkshire interesting. My sense of Mary is of a disabled person, disabled in many ways by her early life, but now entering a stage of recovery in this magical setting.



Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:02 pm
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Post Language, Dialect, Spelling and Voice...What's Going On?
Burnett makes some interesting choices in representing speech in writing. Natives in India do not speak at all. We hear that Ayah tells Mary stories, but we don't "hear" the dialect in which they are told by seeing it represented in writing. There are only a few scattered words of fearful respect, applied to Mary and her family like "Mem Sahib" for her mother.

The Yorkshire dialect spoken by Martha and Ben and less broadly by Mrs. Medlock, is reflected in the spelling and grammar of their "voices," which Mary hears as a separate "language," sometimes even hard to understand so that Martha has to restate phrases like, "Now't o' th' sort" as "nothing of the sort," although both are in English. But an interesting question arises when Mary has to try to print a note to Dickon as dictated by Martha. We are told that Mary doesn't spell well and can barely print as opposed to writing. Yet the note is spelled completely correctly. The grammar, which is Martha's dictation, remains imperfect only in terms of fidelity to that speech pattern of dictation. What's going on?

Quote:
Mary had been taught very little because her governesses had disliked her too much to stay with her. She could not spell particularly well but she found that she could print letters when she tried. This was the letter Martha dictated to her: "My Dear Dickon:

This comes hoping to find you well as it leaves me at present. Miss Mary has plenty of money and will you go to Thwaite and buy her some flower seeds and a set of garden tools to make a flower-bed. Pick the prettiest ones and easy to grow because she has never done it before and lived in India which is different. Give my love to mother and every one of you. Miss Mary is going to tell me a lot more so that on my next day out you can hear about elephants and camels and gentlemen going hunting lions and tigers.

"Your loving sister, Martha Phoebe Sowerby."

"We'll put the money in th' envelope an' I'll get th' butcher boy to take it in his cart. He's a great friend o' Dickon's," said Martha.


And then back to dialect. Where are Mary's misspellings? Why does the author preserve the dialect when she writes it directly, but not when a child who can't spell well hears and prints it?


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Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:27 pm
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Perhaps Martha, when dictating for a letter, used the English she had learned rather than the spoken dialect. Earlier in the book she did state when she first met Mary, she indicated that she had been told that Mary may not understand her dialect and she did show at that time that she could use more standard English. Dictating for a letter could be a time when she would think carefully about each word she used, rather than just using her everyday Yorkshire dialect.



Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:35 pm
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realiz explained:

Quote:
Perhaps Martha, when dictating for a letter, used the English she had learned rather than the spoken dialect. Earlier in the book she did state when she first met Mary, she indicated that she had been told that Mary may not understand her dialect and she did show at that time that she could use more standard English. Dictating for a letter could be a time when she would think carefully about each word she used, rather than just using her everyday Yorkshire dialect.


But where are Mary's spelling errors? Why is Mary's incorrect spelling described to us, but not shown to us when the dialect is shown to us as well as described?

One possibility is that the author sees the Yorkshire speech as carrying with it a kind of authority. There are other indications that there is a natural wisdom that Dickon and his mother and even Martha are thought to possess and that a record of their authentic voice might somehow impart that voice of natural authority directly.

Another possibility could be that Mary, as an upper class English child, somehow "hears" or mentally translates into correct English when writing and her incorrect spelling is erased in the author's representation of what she heard and wrote. The language reflected in the paragraph that was dictated is at least triple-layered: the perspective and voice of Martha, of Mary and of the narrator each have a part in it.

Another interesting point about language comes in where Mary addresses Dickon "in his language" to be polite. But that's another chapter.....


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Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:56 pm
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Post 
Well, I like the lazy one I am, have been listening only . . . so I'm not noticing the actual writing.

The story's delightful.

My only nit with it is that it is 'predictable'. But, if I lived in Burnett's time, I probably wouldn't find it so . . .

The reason it's predictable is because I've had occasion to read a lot of stories from that era.

Back then, the reader probably didn't know what to expect.

I'm all set to listen to 10, 11 & 12.



Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:01 am
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Isn't it interesting that Mary found 'the key' before she found 'the door'.

All that happened to her previously created in her an interest in the secret garden....otherwise she may not have noticed the key.

I like this twist. In other books the character would have found the door and then searched for the key. I can't help feeling that the Robin is symbolic of something. I have been ruminating on this sequence of events for a day or two.

My grandson is sitting beside me as I type this and he is interested in the smileys - so please forgive me whilst I show him how they work.

:clap:

:bow:


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Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:20 am
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I like the smiley's too - especially the banana because it looks like he is crumping. Was it the same grandosn that was standing on the stone path?

With respect to the key and the door, my thought is why did Mary not simply climb over the wall? My thought is that the door and key are important to the story, because they create a quest, a mystery and a role for the robin. The door and key create a sense of finding something significant through a search rather than taking the easy way out. Also, there is a dependency relationship, that is, the door is no use without the key and vice versa. The robin is free to go where he wants, into the garden and out, he does not need a door or a key.



Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:24 pm
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giselle: We like the banana too but we don't know what crumping is?

Yes, it is the same grandson. I only have one grandchild just now, BUT in early April, he is going to have a new baby sister and I am going to have a grand-daughter! :bananadance:

I like the way Mary is unfolding as a character. She loves the robin first and begins to like Martha, and Dickon and Martha's mother before she even meets them. It is like a lovely blossoming - along with the garden..


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Penelope Congratulations on your growing family. Crumping is a form of hip hop dance .. it is energetic, I would say almost frantic. Actually the banana does not do it well ... here is a description,

Through the eerie Urban Jungle of L.A., the youth of the city sprang from the shadows to infest the parking lots with dance and make-up. This tribal Hip Hop style of dancing, much like break dancing, pits fierce crews against each other in non-violent competition. Bodies twist, spin and flip as they magically transform into hypnotic dancers.

Krumping or (Crumping) is a modern day underground dance style that is a highly volatile, expressive and versatile. High variation, individuality, and movement are the trademarks of this vivacious dance craze. Krumping has evolved into a structured and organized society. Dancers are grouped into cliques (or tribes) called "families", much like a newer version of breakdancing crews.



Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:08 pm
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Ah, right Crumping. Well, I suppose dancing in competition is better than fighting like the Mods and Rockers did in England during the 1950's.

I love to watch dancing and usually drag my husband and theatre-going friends off to any local production which involves dance. Last season we went to see an Indian Dance Troup in their production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. It was a wonderful and memorable evening and even the others (men) were impressed. It is odd that I like dance so much because I never could dance or play competitive sports.....it isn't that I have two left feet, but just that I have no co-ordination. I could sing and actually belonged to a concert party for awhile, but when it came to the simplest dance routine, they caste me as the comedien.


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Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:22 pm
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