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The Secret Garden: Chapters 16, 17 and 18 
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Post The Secret Garden: Chapters 16, 17 and 18
The Secret Garden: Chapters 16, 17 and 18

Please use this thread for discussing Chapters 16, 17 and 18 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 16 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... garden/16/

Chapter 17 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... garden/17/

Chapter 18 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... garden/18/



Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:41 pm
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About the use of Yorkshire speech, GR9 said:

"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."

I think this authority you refer to is a good interpretation. In Chapter 18 we see Mary's first substantial speech in Yorkshire, prompted by Dickon's positive reaction to the notion of bringing Colin to the garden. Their use of Yorkshire at this point, and then her use of Yorkshire when she talks with Colin shortly after seems to draw a tighter circle around them, like a code. Also, there seems to be a connection made between the language and the garden. The magic or spirit of Mrs. Craven and her love increasingly hovers about as they use more and more of the language that arises from that land, like the plants in the garden. This is a weird thought but perhaps the use of Yorkshire is a form of incantation (told you it was weird).

I found Dr. Craven's statement about Mary 's Yorkshire revealing:

"Well, well he said, If it amuses you perhaps it won't do you any harm."

I guess at that time this would have been considered a rather liberal statement, but still i'm wondering what harm a child could come to? But then, rigidly structured British society had its rules designed to protect privilege and crossing these lines in speech or otherwise would be a dangerous sign of deterioration and even betrayal of her born privilege.



Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:25 pm
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giselle wrote:
Their use of Yorkshire at this point, and then her use of Yorkshire when she talks with Colin shortly after seems to draw a tighter circle around them, like a code.


Burnett was on to something:

"Yorkshire is generally not as stigmatised as other dialects, and has been used in classic works of literature such as Wuthering Heights. An April 2008 survey found that Yorkshire accents are now ranked above Received Pronunciation for inspiring confidence in the speaker."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_ ... and_accent



Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:56 pm
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Quote:
"You stop!" she almost shouted. "You stop! I hate you! Everybody hates you! I wish everybody would run out of the house and let you scream yourself to death! You will scream yourself to death in a minute, and I wish you would!" A nice sympathetic child could neither have thought nor said such things, but it just happened that the shock of hearing them was the best possible thing for this hysterical boy whom no one had ever dared to restrain or contradict.


This was a great scene with Mary running into Colin's room and giving him a piece of her mind. 'A nice sympathetic child' Mary was not, but what she really did here was to treat Colin like he was an ordinary boy and not a sick invalid and demanded that he take some responsbility for his own behavior.

I think it may be in the next chapter, but Martha's mother is quoted saying something like, 'The two worst things for any child are always having their own way or never having their own way'. Easy to understand this concept, but of course the balancing is the difficult part.

For both Colin and Mary learning to care about others and like themselves goes hand in hand, learning to love and becoming more lovable and in turn loving themselves.
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But I don't feel as sour as I used to before I knew the robin and Dickon."

"Did you feel as if you hated people?"

"Yes," answered Mary without any affectation. "I should have detested you if I had seen you before I saw the robin and Dickon."





Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:00 pm
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The robin is a fantastic character. His role in leading Mary to the garden and then becoming a teacher, in a sense, and the way the children learn to be around him in a way that encourages his trust is very interesting. He takes on some human qualities and acts as a bridge to the natural environment. As the Magic becomes prominent in the story, perhaps we can see the robin and his mate as symbolizing the Cravens before Mrs. Craven's death hence the symbolic finding and rebuilding of personal loss and love lost through the robins.



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Now, I'm so happy that Colin is coming out of his hysterics (with his friend's help).

I look forward to seeing them take him to the garden.



Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:12 am
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It is interesting that to you the Robin is symbolic of the 'Cravens' because to me it represents Mary's soul - her higher self - leading her towards the things that will heal her.

Influenced by my eastern mysticism, obviously. But birds often do represent the soul in poetry and literature.


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