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Posted on April 29th, 2014, by

This essay in meant to discuss The Secret Garden written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The account depicts Mary Lennox, an English young girl who is born in India and is abruptly rendered an orphan by epidemic. She is next transported to England, where she lives at her uncle’s mansion and discovers a mysterious garden. This paper is meant to prove that the secret garden is very important in Mary and Colin’s personal and physical development. And the thesis of my paper is: A garden or another pastoral setting can nurture and heal children. The cultivation of the flowers in a secret garden disciplines a girl and helps to resolve Colin’s psychological problem, ingrained in a loveless infancy.

Mary’s Moving into Adulthood

The main image of this account is that gardens, flora and fauna and kids all require fresh air, lots of good nutrition and care to grow (Bixler, 208-224). I personally agree with Phyllis Bixler’s notion that a garden can nurture and heal children. I believe that these youngsters are like the garden. Colin, Mary and the garden have been mainly uncared for the decade. Both children are extremely sickly, whilst in the garden flowers and grasses are about to choke off shoots struggling to appear from beneath them. Children possess inside the seeds of the better selves, merely expecting for the chance to grow. Mary is so capable girl that she has trained herself to read, so creative that the closed garden captivates her interest, so concentrated that she investigated and actually discovers and unlocks the garden. From the initial conversation she has with Martha, it is obvious she can recognize friendship and warmth in other people. The young girl only had to obtain an opportunity to demonstrate her kindness. Whilst Mary cultivates a secret garden, this work in the soil disciplines a girl. In the Yorkshire house and on its grounds, the girl takes the initial steps toward appropriate girlhood and also womanhood. She trades her frailty for health, her Indian essence for an English one. Putting her hands into English soil becomes a cure. As readers see, Mary’s cultivation follows the steps of 19th-century garden scholars in the plans for the ideal garden: specifically, enclosure, incarceration, instruction, and beautification (Sparknotes). Though a girl does not easily abandon her wildness, she becomes a young lady who, like the perfect garden, may provide loveliness and comfort, and who can cultivate her cousin, the youthful patriarch-in-training. This text, thus, created a vital route, in which, step by step, the evolvement of a young lady is used to further male power.

Colin’s Recovery

In a way, the secret garden may be treated as the metaphorical image of Colin. The secret garden is the catalyst for curing in the people who see it, and with the young boy the result is literal. Not capable to walk, he finds out that in the garden he can stand. He secretly practices till he is capable to shock his parent by getting out the wheelchair. With Colin, it is obvious from the beginning that his problem is psychological, deep-rooted in the loveless infancy. The secret garden appears to have a magnificent, magical impact on all those who enter it, letting Mary help restore Colin to health and a meeting with his parent. It is an account where faith restores health, plants refresh the character and the wonder of the garden coming to living after years of disregard brings children cheerfulness and health.


Spoiled Mary is rapidly changed for the better when she comes across a mystifying garden that has been locked up for ten decades. For Mary, it is not a supporter or romantic love that pushes her development. Rather, she practices to take care of herself, to understand un-lonely loneliness in the ordinary landscape. The girl discovers herself making friends for the first time in her live. Mary befriends a lament boy, Colin, who is as spoiled as she used to be. Nevertheless, the beauty of the secret garden soon cures Colin’s psychological problem, rooted in a loveless infancy as well. The Secret Garden is an investigation of the powerful impacts of nature upon people. It is also the merriment of nature’s loveliness, and it could be asserted that it investigates the wonder of all living creatures’ capability for survival.

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