Mary The Secret Garden Analysis

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The garden, like Mary, is a neglected place; left uncared for, behind the imprisoning walls, it has become a tangle of thorns and briars. Nurture, care and love restore the beauty and freedom of this wilderness. In turn Mary, like the roses, blossoms into a natural and healthy child, and is able to share this healing experience with Colin, her cousin. Danielle Price in her article ‘Cultivating Mary: The Victorian Secret Garden’ proves that the similarities between Mary and the secret garden exist deeply in the text. When The Secret Garden opens, Mary is clearly a bad seed. Or, at least, maternal neglect and her Indian environment have caused weeds to spring up. The novel decisively states that India is not a place conducive to growing literal or figurative gardens. Organic metaphors of the child as seed, are frequently employed by the Victorians who showed their indebtedness to Rousseau and the Romantic poets. This…show more content…
Like the garden, Mary was hidden away, denied to everyone's sight, by her parents, a harassed colonial administrator and his flighty, irresponsible wife. When Mary is discovered in the deserted bungalow, she is identified as "the child no one ever saw," who had "actually been forgotten" (7). Mary's question, "Why was I forgotten?" has implications beyond those suggested by the immediate circumstances. The little girl was uncared for, left in the hands of mindlessly subservient natives who deserted her. Ignored by her parents while they were alive, she was orphaned in a hostile world at their death. Her guardian, the distracted widower Archibald Craven, hardly fills the role he legally holds. His first words to her, after she has been in his care for six months, were "I forgot you. How could I remember you? I intended to send you a governess or a nurse, or someone of that sort but I forgot"

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