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The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

title ·  The Secret Garden

author · Frances Hodgson Burnett

type of work · Novel

genre · Romance; bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel); novel of ideas (fictional work with philosophical or ideological underpinnings)

lanuguage · English

time and place written · 1906–1909, England

date of first publication · 1909

publisher · 

narrator · Anonynous; the narrator and Frances Hodgson Burnett both have the distinctive values and diction of an upper-middle-class white British woman, and both ardently espouse the principles of Christian Science and New Thought.

climax · Mary's discovery of the secret garden, Mary's decision to share the garden with Dickon, Mary's discovery of Colin, the reawakening of the secret garden, Colin's standing on his feet for the first time

protagonist · Mary Lennox; Colin Craven

major conflict · The major conflict in The Secret Garden is between each character and his own negative thoughts.

setting (time) · Shortly after the turn of the 20th century

setting (place) · India and Yorkshire, England

point of view · Omniscient narrator. The narrator "knows all," and is highly subjective — that is, she frequently offers opinions of the characters and their motivations, and is often aware of things about them that they do not know themselves. She offers extensive philosophical commentary on the novel's action. She has access to all of the characters thoughts, and often switches back and forth among them.

falling action · Colin and Mary's gradual improvement; the keeping of the secret of that improvement; the disclosure of Colin's newfound health to his father

tense · Past tense; there is only one chapter in which the narrative is not presented in a straightforwardly chronological fashion. The final chapter traces the activities of Archibald Craven, which occur at the same time as the events which make up the bulk of the novel

foreshadowing · None

tone · Romantic; the narrator rhapsodizes about the landscape, the growing beauty of her characters, and the glorious effects of springtime. She also, as noted above, provides extensive quasi-philsophical commentary on the events of the novel, and speaks approvingly of her characters when they behave in a manner consonant with her worldview.

themes · The Omnipresence of Magic; The Relationship between Health and Outlook; The Relationship between Landscape and Human Well-Being; The Necessity of Human Companionship

motifs · Secrets; Parallel Lives Of Colin, Mary, and the Garden; Dickon as an Animal Charmer and "Yorkshire Angel"; the Garden of Eden

symbols · The Robin Redbreast; the Portrait of Mistress Craven; Roses

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The Secret Garden(you do not need the spark notes for this book)

by KingSize4, May 02, 2013

This book is very easy to understand so you do not need the spark notes.

3 Comments

10 out of 44 people found this helpful

Review available here

by RandomlyAbstract, June 28, 2013

Hey! I just wrote a review for this novel because I really enjoyed reading it! You can find the review here:

http://www.shvoong.com/books/classic-literature/2379569-secret-garden/


Let me know what you think.

0 Comments

2 out of 4 people found this helpful

spark notes secret garden

by tryepic4, September 05, 2013

I love the secret garden!!!!!!!!!
I love sparknotes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Comments

8 out of 9 people found this helpful

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