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The Secret Garden: Chapters 10, 11 and 12 
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Post The Secret Garden: Chapters 10, 11 and 12
The Secret Garden: Chapters 10, 11 and 12

Please use this thread for discussing Chapters 10, 11 and 12 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 10 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... garden/10/

Chapter 11 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... garden/11/

Chapter 12 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... garden/12/



Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:43 pm
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Post dream
I found the closing lines of chapter 10 interesting "Its this she said, its a secret garden, and I'm the only one in the world who wants it to be alive. Dickon looked round and round about it, and round and round again. Eh he almost whispered "it is a queer and pretty place. It's like as if a body was in a dream". The dreamlike quality of the story seems to be building and I feel like the characters are beginning to float about, perhaps in a somewhat ephemeral way.



Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:12 pm
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The Secret Garden. A magical place of growth and healing, started by Mrs Craven that lovely woman who was full of love and in a way this garden holds some of her within the walls. Almost as if she is coming back to life.



Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:40 pm
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Post Language and Keeping Score
Quote:
"Only five folk as tha' likes?" he said. "Who is th' other four?"

"Your mother and Martha," Mary checked them off on her fingers, "and the robin and Ben Weatherstaff."

Dickon laughed so that he was obliged to stifle the sound by putting his arm over his mouth.

"I know tha' thinks I'm a queer lad," he said, "but I think tha' art th' queerest little lass I ever saw."

Then Mary did a strange thing. She leaned forward and asked him a question she had never dreamed of asking any one before. And she tried to ask it in Yorkshire because that was his lan- guage, and in India a native was always pleased if you knew his speech.

"Does tha' like me?" she said.

"Eh!" he answered heartily, "that I does. I likes thee wonderful, an' so does th' robin, I do believe!"

"That's two, then," said Mary. "That's two for me."


She also speaks softly to the robin, imitating its "speech" and learning how it speaks with its body and movements.


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Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:19 pm
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Post Spelling errors, magisterial illustration, trust.
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Something white fastened to the standard rose-bush caught her eye. It was a piece of paper, in fact, it was a piece of the letter she had printed for Martha to send to Dickon. It was fastened on the bush with a long thorn, and in a minute she knew Dickon had left it there. There were some roughly printed letters on it and a sort of picture. At first she could not tell what it was. Then she saw it was meant for a nest with a bird sitting on it. Underneath were the printed letters and they said:

"I will cum bak."


Dickon's spelling errors are shown but not mentioned, unlike Mary's spelling errors in her much longer note, written down for Martha who is older than both of the child writers. As if begging the comparison, both notes are written on the same piece of paper.

Dickon's also has a picture, which carries the freight of the meaning, that he can be trusted not only to come back, but to keep Mary's secret as safe as if she were one of the little birds whose nests he doesn't let the other boys know about. In the next chapter, Martha's identifying the kind of bird Dickon has drawn reveals this meaning to Mary. Apparently he's practically an Audubon when it comes to drawing bird species.

So even though his "roughly printed" spelling is shown to be worse than Mary's, his drawing is of such a high artistic caliber that his sister can tell what kind of bird it is, and his ability to communicate content is so effective that Mary "gets" what that means: a message of trust elegantly and reassuringly transmitted in a "code" of shared personal experience to which no one else will have the key.


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Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:06 pm
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Post Re: Language and Keeping Score
GentleReader9 wrote:
[quoteThen Mary did a strange thing. She leaned forward and asked him a question she had never dreamed of asking any one before. And she tried to ask it in Yorkshire because that was his lan- guage, and in India a native was always pleased if you knew his speech.

"Does tha' like me?" she said.


She also speaks softly to the robin, imitating its "speech" and learning how it speaks with its body and movements.



This was a surprising thing for Mary to do. Reflecting on the use of Yorkshire speech, my take is that it reinforces the British class system and it would be highly unusual for a girl of Mary's status to stoop to rural, uneducated speech as I think it would have been perceived then. Her attempt to identify with Dickon in this way is quite a dramatic moment, I guess its her way of breaking down barriers as much as possible. It may come across in a rather condescending way but I didn't take it like that.



Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:11 pm
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This was a surprising thing for Mary to do. Reflecting on the use of Yorkshire speech, my take is that it reinforces the British class system and it would be highly unusual for a girl of Mary's status to stoop to rural, uneducated speech as I think it would have been perceived then. Her attempt to identify with Dickon in this way is quite a dramatic moment, I guess its her way of breaking down barriers as much as possible. It may come across in a rather condescending way but I didn't take it like that.


I agree. I didn't think it was meant to be condescending, either. Notice, however, that there is a difference in how we see Mary's ability and willingness to use Yorkshire speech with Dickon and Martha's ability and willingness to use a more standard English with Mary so she can understand. The power differences and social value judgments are real; they are reflected in the language and what we think it means for different speakers to go halfway to meet another speaker. As in the case of the proverbial glass that is thought to be either half full or half empty, although it has always got to be both by definition of the word half, the kind of person who is looking at it and naming it changes what that same half means.


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as quoted by Robert A. Burton


Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:36 pm
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Well, these people have a lot to share with her - for what they lack in reading/writing, they have things about nature to teach her.

Now, I'm glad she's asked the old man for her 'piece of earth'.

I hope there's going to be no trouble about her having that 'secret garden'.

I don't think he understood that she wanted to work there.

It's such a delightful story.



Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:33 am
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Post 
WildCityWoman wrote:
Well, these people have a lot to share with her - for what they lack in reading/writing, they have things about nature to teach her.

Now, I'm glad she's asked the old man for her 'piece of earth'.

I hope there's going to be no trouble about her having that 'secret garden'.

I don't think he understood that she wanted to work there.

It's such a delightful story.


I actually read this for the first time as an adult, so I read it with great excitement, and I was always worried about what would happen if someone should discover just where her piece of earth was.....
I could hardly put this book down and I still read it once a year.



Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:44 am
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I have never read this book before and I am finding it truly magical. I too was having problems with putting it down due to the dismay of my boyfriend. I am so happy we all chose this book.


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Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:11 am
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farmgirlshelley wrote:
WildCityWoman wrote:
Well, these people have a lot to share with her - for what they lack in reading/writing, they have things about nature to teach her.

Now, I'm glad she's asked the old man for her 'piece of earth'.

I hope there's going to be no trouble about her having that 'secret garden'.

I don't think he understood that she wanted to work there.

It's such a delightful story.


I actually read this for the first time as an adult, so I read it with great excitement, and I was always worried about what would happen if someone should discover just where her piece of earth was.....
I could hardly put this book down and I still read it once a year.


Not sure exactly who said this, but I recently read advice on reading a good book . . .

Read it 3 times . . . once when you're young, once when you're middle-aged and once when you're old.

I think this book is one that would apply to that advice.



Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 pm
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I said it, and that is very good advice. Luckily I read so many books every year that when I do go back and read it I often forget parts here and there so it is fun to read all over again. :smile:



Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:40 pm
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With regard to Mary's use of Yorkshire Dialect:

My mother and father in law were old Lancashire people - born in 1906. The use of dialect is dying out now but they both used it when speaking to each other - but knew how to speak correctly in 'company'.

I was very touched when my father-in-law sat on my bed when I was in hospital after giving birth to my first child. For the first time, he spoke to me in Lancashire dialect - Th'art a gradely lass - is what he said. I knew then that he felt some affection for me. My mother-in-law said that thunder and lightening was very 'fleisom'(sic). It means scarey. And that word is used by Emily Bronte to describe Heathcliffe, early on in Wuthering Heights. I was so delighted when I discovered this.

I am enjoying the story very much. I haven't ever read Secret Garden before although I have seen it on film.

I might as well confess, that when I was reading these chapters and Mary's developing affection for Dickon, I worried that it might become a little cloyingly sentimental and maudling, it just managed to stay this side of OK for me. I rather liked Mary when she was a little 'Madam' and I don't want her to become too sweet (to be wholesome). Can't put the book down. :smile:


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Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:05 am
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Penelope wrote:
. . . when I was reading these chapters and Mary's developing affection for Dickon, I worried that it might become a little cloyingly sentimental and maudling, it just managed to stay this side of OK for me.


Under the British class system, would a romantic relationship have been possible?



Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:48 pm
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One more post ought to do it.

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Quote:
Under the British class system, would a romantic relationship have been possible?


It's always been possible Tom, Although frowned upon. Unless you were actually royalty when marriage to a commoner was unacceptable.

Take 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' for example. Since we are on the subject of gardeners. :laugh:

I was sent this link to read. It demonstrates very clearly how the class system operated and sometimes marred peoples lives.

http://www.vanityfair.com/style/feature ... erpt200902

But I get the impression that Mary's family were merely wealthy, not aristocrats. So a Liason with someone like Dickon would have been possible, if very unlikely.


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Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:01 pm
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