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The Secret Garden

Writing Help

Suggested Essay Topics

Writing Help 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?