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The Secret Garden: Chapters 4, 5 and 6

#59: Dec. - Jan. 2009 (Fiction)
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Chris OConnor
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The Secret Garden: Chapters 4, 5 and 6

The Secret Garden: Chapters 4, 5 and 6

Please use this thread for discussing Chapters 4, 5 and 6 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 4 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... tgarden/4/

Chapter 5 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... tgarden/5/

Chapter 6 http://www.online-literature.com/burnet ... tgarden/6/
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giselle
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Mary's search through Misselwaithe Manor and her curiousity about the garden are strong images especially set against the brutal heartlessness of the adults around her. What is she really searching for?

How anyone from any class or culture or period of history can be this heartless toward a child is beyond me. This is really sick. Strange that her parents died and there is so little connection that they are simply shipped off in the night and Mary finds out about their death from strangers. Perhaps this happens due to the need to quarantine cholera victims but still it emphasizes the extreme degree of isolation that she experiences. Mary is orphaned twice.

By the end of chapter 6 there is at least a glimmer of warmer feelings and a bit of hope, if only in the form of a friendly bird and a somewhat friendly gardener. The power of the moor to heal is hopeful too.
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realiz
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To me these chapter of the book have a magic to them rather than heartlessness, after all, it is a fairy tale. Contrary Mary is heartless herself, as she has never been loved and therefore never learned to love, even her curiosity has been stymied. Now, an awakening is budding, her loneliness is being reflected back through Ben, the moors, the lonely secret garden, her emotionally damaged uncle whom she has not met, and Mary is suddenly feeling the beginnings of emotions she has never felt.
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giselle
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My comment with respect to heartless treatment of Mary relates to Chapters 1-6. I think this is the backdrop for her discovery of love and life and so it is necessary to the story. I do agree that by Chapter 6 she is begininng to awaken. I'm trying to figure out this Theosophy idea that has been mentioned and other interpretations of this book but I think I have to read further before that becomes clear.
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Ahhhh! I like this thread . . . quiet.

And I really like this story. What I like is watching this character grow. It's a 'child's' story really.

I've been thinking about this business of racism . . . had the author written and published this novel on this side of the century's turn, it wouldn't have been as interesting.

I'll tell you why - she would have been more or less obligated to compromise the story witb a lot of political correctness.

I'm looking forward to the next chapters; I'm curious to see what's going to happen when she finds this library - what is she going to choose to read? Is there going to be trouble over her having entered it?

And the garden! Oh, I'm a sucker for gardens.
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Thomas Hood
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WildCityWoman wrote:Ahhhh! I like this thread . . . quiet.
That's 'cause we're thinking hard . :) An unreformed hippy ought to really dig this book of Magic!
And the garden! Oh, I'm a sucker for gardens.
You sense the subtle healing and invigorating influences of growing things?

Tom
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You betcha!

Nice job on the thread moderation here, Dude!
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I think that Martha is trying to help Mary the best way she can. Instead of acting like the "typical" servant, she has taken on the persona of the big sister. Once you are the big sister you find yourself helping others who need that. I should know, I am the oldest of five. LOL. Anyway, it seems that in these three chapters Mary is finding out alot about herself and her surroundings. It is like she is reinventing herself. She is finding out that she likes nature and the company of others. Her curious nature is helping her not only find who Mary is but heal from the loss of her parents. She is going to grieve but not till she realizes what she has lost. Look forward to the following chapters.
If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.
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Thomas Hood
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Raving Lunatic wrote: Once you are the big sister you find yourself helping others who need that. I should know, I am the oldest of five.
As a teenager, Burnett herself took responsibility for her younger siblings after both her parents had died.

"Following the death of her mother in 1867, the 18-year-old Frances was now the head of a family of two younger siblings. She turned to writing to support them all, with a first story published in Godey's Lady's Book in 1868."

Tom
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Very interesting.
If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.
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farmgirlshelley
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Thomas Hood wrote:
Raving Lunatic wrote: Once you are the big sister you find yourself helping others who need that. I should know, I am the oldest of five.
As a teenager, Burnett herself took responsibility for her younger siblings after both her parents had died.

"Following the death of her mother in 1867, the 18-year-old Frances was now the head of a family of two younger siblings. She turned to writing to support them all, with a first story published in Godey's Lady's Book in 1868."

Tom
WOW I didn't know that. It is amazing what we can bring out from deep within ourselves in such situations.....
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Thomas Hood wrote:
WildCityWoman wrote:Ahhhh! I like this thread . . . quiet.
That's 'cause we're thinking hard . :) An unreformed hippy ought to really dig this book of Magic!
And the garden! Oh, I'm a sucker for gardens.
You sense the subtle healing and invigorating influences of growing things?

Tom
I assume the unreformed hippy is me? Or you?

Anyway, Happy New Year to ya'!

(If I already replied to this post of yours, please forgive me - I have that 'old people's disease', but I don't remember whatcha' call it.

;-)
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Thomas Hood
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Hi Carly, I saw yellow in the buds of "daffydowndillys" yesterday. May your year have many blooms.
WildCityWoman wrote:I assume the unreformed hippy is me? Or you?
Well, in my way I am unreformed too. I like the Renaissance better. Just read William Lilly's autobiography (from Gutenberg) -- a truly magical guy.
(If I already replied to this post of yours, please forgive me - I have that 'old people's disease', but I don't remember whatcha' call it.
You did, but in my old age I quickly forget and need to be reminded -- if I hear it in the first place :) May you and I forget our troubles and disappointments as we watch the flower grow.

Tom
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Just a point here. I was an 'only' child and reared by just one parent, my mother. However, she did the opposite of ignore me and made me the centre of her world which is probably not so healthy either.

I used to stay with my Aunt who had five children of her own. I was the youngest. They lived on the Lancashire Moors which are not all that different to the Yorkshire moors, being the adjoining county.

I loved staying with my Aunt (in name only, no blood relation) and although, because I was younger than the others and was often a nuisance to them, wanting to join in their games, was bullied a little now and again, I still always wanted to stay. To my shame, I can't ever remember missing my mother when I stayed for a few weeks in the summer holidays so that my Mother could go to work.

I often wonder what I would have become without them.

Here is a picture of the Yorkshire Moors as in the book:-

Image

I will post a picture of the Lancashire Moors area where I lived if you like.

Pen
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Thomas Hood
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Penelope wrote:Here is a picture of the Yorkshire Moors as in the book. . .
Welcome back, Penelope, but shouldn't a moor have heather, gorse, and peat bogs?
The carriage lamps shed a yellow light on a rough-looking road which seemed to be cut through bushes and low-growing things which ended in the great expanse of dark apparently spread out before and around them. A wind was rising and making a singular, wild, low, rushing sound.

"It's -- it's not the sea, is it?" said Mary, looking round at her companion.

"No, not it," answered Mrs. Medlock. "Nor it isn't fields nor mountains, it's just miles and miles and miles of wild land that nothing grows on but heather and gorse and broom, and nothing lives on but wild ponies and sheep."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_York_Moors
-- picture of North York Moors from space

Scroll down to see heather in bloom. Now that's a real moor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorse

Tom
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