The Secret Garden

Summary

Chapter IX

Summary Chapter IX

Mary is instantly concerned for the garden's well-being; she thinks, "She did not want it to be a quite dead garden. If it were a quite alive garden, how wonderful it would be, and what thousands of roses would grow on every side!" The roses are Mistress Craven's personal symbol; they are mentioned whenever she is mentioned. The garden is still flooded with rose-trees and rosebushes, though none are in bloom; Mary remarks to herself, "Even if the roses are dead, there are other things alive." This, along with the quote above, indicates that the reawakening of the garden may bring the spirit of Mistress Craven back to it - she exists wherever roses are in bloom. At the same time, this passage subtly condemns Master Craven for letting the garden fall into ruin in the first place: even if his wife (the roses) is dead, life must still go on. This notion becomes extremely important in later chapters, after the introduction of Colin Craven. This chapter also foreshadows the crucial role Dickon will play in the rebirth of both Mary and the secret garden: it is Dickon who will bring her the tools and seeds that she requires to make the garden "come alive."