The Secret Garden
Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics
Conceptual Study Questions
Throughout the novel, Mary and Colin are described as being "a perfect match" for one another. Why? What are their similarities? When first we meet them, they are both extremely unlikable. Does the narrator hold them responsible for their flaws? If they are not responsible, who is?
One of the central motifs of The Secret Garden is the idea of magic. What is magic? What are some of its features? Where does it come from? What are its effects? Refer to Hodgson Burnett's own philosophical beliefs in your answer.
Throughout the novel, the secret garden is subtly compared to the Garden of Eden. How is this comparison suggested? What are its implications?
Suggested Essay Topics
The Secret Garden, as its title suggests, is a novel organized around the motif of secrets. Which are the narrative's most pivotal secrets? How are they discovered? Explain the significance of the ways in which they are discovered.
How does "Indian-ness" function in the novel? How does Mary characterize the natives? How does the narrator describe them? In what ways are they similar to the English? In what ways are they different?
Compare Dickon's background with Mary's and Colin's. How is it different? How do class differences function in the novel? Why is Dickon so often described as "common"? Does this contradict or support the idea that he is "a Yorkshire angel"?
Examine the situation of servants in the novel. What is a servant's life like? How are they treated? How does the narrator regard servants? Take your examples from both Yorkshire and India. Compare the situation of servants in Yorkshire with that of servants in India.
Which characters are most strongly associated with the world of the manor house? Which characters are most strongly associated with the secret garden? What does this opposition suggest?
by KingSize4, May 02, 2013
This book is very easy to understand so you do not need the spark notes.
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