Secret Garden
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett takes place in a dreary

Misselthwaite manor in England during the Victorian era. The protagonist is Mary

Lennox a selfish and spoilt 11 year old. The other major characters are Master

Colin Craven her sickly cousin, Dickon Sowerby the animal charmer, Master

Archibald Craven her reclusive uncle, Martha Sowerby a hearty housekeeper, a
dour gardener, a cheerful robin and the secret garden. The tone is melodramatic
and is told in the third person omniscient. The message about life to be learned
from the story is that its never too late to change, no matter how terrible, you
can make the best of things. Face the problems instead of cowering from them
because if your donít theyíll never go away. Have a positive attitude, live
life and share it with the people around. Alienating yourself is not the
solution. Mary, Colin and Archibald Craven are examples of this. Mary didnít
care for anything, she was so spoilt that nothing and no one meant anything to
he; she was so used to everybody hating her. Colin is also spoilt and filled
with ideas that heís going to die. Archibald is the coward that canít face
reality or the hope for a better tomorrow. The one thing they all have in common
is negatively, you get the sense that they would rather be dead and in reality
itís like they are because they donít care about anything. Mary is tossed
around like a rag doll nobody wants; Colin is expecting to die and Master Craven
runs from the possibilities of getting to know his son. In The Secret Garden
there is person vs. society and person vs. her/himself. In person vs. society

Mary is unloved by her parents and by most of those who she encounters. Her
parents ignore her existence and leave her to the care of a hateful ayah. After
her parents die she moves to live with her uncle and is greeted by Mrs. Medlock
who finds her a disagreeable child. She and others donít give Mary a chance;
they judge and sentence her. They do the same to Colin; they donít give him
hopes of living and expect him to die soon. Person vs. her/himself is found when

Mary, Colin and Master Craven have to find the courage to face the harsh world.

They all fear this loneliness which they bring amongst themselves by withdrawing
themselves from the world The climax in the story would have to be when Mary
canít handle Colins tantrums and all his ranting and raving about the lump on
his back thatís going to kill him. She realizes that the way that Colin acts
was the same way she used to be and she sets him straight. She doesnít give in
to his hysterics and proves to him that the only lumps on his back are his
bones. From that day on things change, Mary tells him about the garden and Colin
gets a sudden interest in life. After that Mary takes him to the garden and this
view on life changes, he says "I shall live for ever- and ever- and
ever." Itís a combination of events with the help of different characters
that bring this story to its conclusion. But it all starts with Maryís arrival
to the manor and her curiosity about the secret garden. Mary was used to being
served and being alone, neglected by her parents she becomes bitter. "Full
of disagreeable thoughts about her dislikes and sour opinions of people and her
determination not to be pleased by or interested in anything." There was no
meaning in Maryís life and thatís why she was bitter, that changed when she
moved to Misselthwaite where she discovers the secret garden with fantastic
healing powers. The garden is walled up and has been locked up for years. With
the gardenerís apprentice, Dickon, Mary coaxes the garden back to life. The
garden seems to have a wonderful, magical effect on all those who come into it,
allowing Mary to help restore Colin to health and a reunion with his father.

Itís a story where faith restores health, flowers refresh the spirit and the
magic of the garden coming to life after years of neglect brings both Colin and

Mary health and happiness. The garden helped Mary regenerate then helped Colin
help himself and at last Master Craven. Hope was regained and the loss they had
all endued stayed behind in the past.