ERROR LOADING HTML FROM SOURCE (http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu//design/skins/UFDC/html/header_item.html)

When the Bough Breaks

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004327/00001

Material Information

Title: When the Bough Breaks Parentless Children in Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess and The Secret Garden
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Solomon, Rebah N.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2010
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mother Figures
Orphans
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The thesis explores the relationship between parentless children and their ability to survive without a parent figure. The first chapter, A Little Princess, shows how Sara Crewe is able to survive, first without mother or father then as a penniless orphan, by telling stories to herself and others to nurture both her spirit and body. Sara�s storytelling, particularly her imagining herself as a princess in the face of adversity, allow to keep her dignity and noble spirit intact until she is rewarded with a new father figure. Her storytelling also serves as a comforting mother aspect toward herself and other girls at her school. The second chapter on The Secret Garden shows how the garden of the title serves as a parent figure to Mary and Colin while they learn the process of mothering themselves. In both books the children are rewarded by the return of a father figure, the mother figure being already present in the character of Sara and in the garden itself.
Statement of Responsibility: by Rebah N. Solomon
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2010
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Wallace, Miriam

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2010 S68
System ID: NCFE004327:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004327/00001

Material Information

Title: When the Bough Breaks Parentless Children in Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess and The Secret Garden
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Solomon, Rebah N.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2010
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mother Figures
Orphans
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The thesis explores the relationship between parentless children and their ability to survive without a parent figure. The first chapter, A Little Princess, shows how Sara Crewe is able to survive, first without mother or father then as a penniless orphan, by telling stories to herself and others to nurture both her spirit and body. Sara�s storytelling, particularly her imagining herself as a princess in the face of adversity, allow to keep her dignity and noble spirit intact until she is rewarded with a new father figure. Her storytelling also serves as a comforting mother aspect toward herself and other girls at her school. The second chapter on The Secret Garden shows how the garden of the title serves as a parent figure to Mary and Colin while they learn the process of mothering themselves. In both books the children are rewarded by the return of a father figure, the mother figure being already present in the character of Sara and in the garden itself.
Statement of Responsibility: by Rebah N. Solomon
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2010
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Wallace, Miriam

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2010 S68
System ID: NCFE004327:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

A Little Princess and The Secret Garden By Rebah N. Solomon A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the Sponsorship of______________________ Sarasota, Florida May, 2010

PAGE 2

For My Mother (1957 2008) And My Family

PAGE 3

Table of Contents Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii Abstract. . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Chapter 1: Survival and Story telling in A Little Princess . . . . 11 Chapter 2: Healing and R edemption in The Secret Garden . . . 29 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Works Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

PAGE 4

Forward Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on woshi In the summer of 2008 I understood exactly how Harry felt when he gazed into the mystical Mirror of Erised. I had about a month of school left before summer vacation started. I had a summer ISP planned, and I intended to do work on my proposed thesis A Tale of Two Cities, before I came back to school in August. I was going to find a summer job at a bookstore and do research at the Un iversity of Florida. I was going to laugh at a bunch of bad reality television. I was going to spend Sunday mornings with my mother at the donut shop on the corner, drinking coffee and doing the crossword puzzle together. I had all of these plans. And th en shortly before I was to begin work on my finals, my cousin drove down to Sarasota to tell me the news in person. My mother had had a sudden aneurysm and had passed away in her sleep. I had all of these plans. And in one day they all crumbled and fell to the floor. friends. I knit. I watched movies. Anything that could be a distraction. I went home and

PAGE 5

got a summer job working at the local library. I felt sad, then numb And even worse than parents, was a comfort. T here are a lot perfectly normal parents re ad books in which the protagonist does not. pleasurable in pretending to be an orphan when one can go home to a stable family after one is done pretending. section one day, I shelved Frances Hodgson The Secret Garden. The book had illustrations, and as I flipped through them, I found myself remembering how Mary had lost her parents suddenly and how she took comfort in restoring the lonely and negle cted garden. Desperately needing comfort reading, I checked the book out and read this 300 page edition in a couple of days. And as I read, thoughts whirred through my brain. I made new plans. Plans for a new thesis topic that would also serve as a catha rsis of sorts for myself. with the loss of their parents. And in doing so I would cope with the loss of my own.

PAGE 6

friend. To double loss in more ways than one. small pleasures from many things they learn to love as children, and continue to love even as they know they are supposed to outgrow them. Books became my security blanket that summer, and they continue to be my security blanket today. One can read books in levels, remembering what you thou ght when you first read it, but still able to look at the text from a more mature perspective. but you are still able to enjoy it for what it is. est of mothers. She missed half of my childhood and almost all of my adolescence due to her battle with addiction. She made a lot of bad choices, but she made a lot of good ones in the last few years of her life. At fifty and with my adult understanding an d help, she was slowly getting her life back and making up for grateful that we had even that time. A small part of me will always be sad when I think of her, but I have abs olutely no doubt in my mind that she loved me very much. have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us 299). RS April 14, 2010

PAGE 7

WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS: PARENTLESS CHILDREN IN FRANCES A LITTLE PRINCESS AND THE SECRET GARDEN Rebah N. Solomon New College of Florida 2010 ABSTRACT The thesis explores the relationship between parentless children and their ability to survive without a parent figure. The first chapter, A Little Princess, shows how Sara Crewe is able to survive, first without mother or father then as a penniless orphan, by telling stories to herself and others to nurture both her spirit and body. Sara storytelling, particularly her imagining herself as a princess in the face of adversity, allow to keep her dignity and noble spirit intact until she is rewarded with a new father figure. Her storytelling also serves as a comforting mother aspect toward herself and other girls at her school. The second chapter on The Secret Garden shows how the garden of the title serves as a parent figure to Mary and Colin while they learn the process of mothering themselves. In both books the children are rewarded by th e return of a father figure, the mother figure being already present in the character of Sara and in the garden itself. Dr. Miriam L. Wallace English

PAGE 8

Introduction button issue in the early twenty first century. J.K. Rowling, author of the extremely popular Harry Potter series, and Stephenie Meyer, author of the best selling Twili ght series have was mainly didactic in nature, is now a big business. Publishing co mpanies invest Harry Potter continue reaping Harry Potter profits. To put this in perspective, seminal author, J.K. Rowling, is one of the wealthiest women in her homela nd of Great Britain with a net worth just shy of 500 million pounds and a ranking of the 101 st wealthiest person in the United Kingdom. 1 By comparison, Queen Elizabeth II is only the 214 th wealthiest person in the United Kingdom. The New York Times had to create an entirely twenty first century Harry Potter phenomenon paved the way for more serious and 1 The Sunday Times http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/specials/rich_list/rich_list_search/?l=27#searchtop

PAGE 9

The broad question post kindergarten, pre pubescent children, or children who are roughly between the ages of six and tw elve. Six years may seem like a r ather broad range, but children s reading skills develop at different paces. The children s works of Frances Hodgson Burnett, while they may be enjoyed by ages well past twelve, fit most comfortably in this range. This pre Sara Crewe, Mary Lennox, Colin Craven, Dickon, and Ermengarde are all definitely younger than adolescence during the entire length of the books. I argue this because sexuali ever after comes in the form of a father figure. The climax of the The Secret Garden occurs when the alienated family members are reunited. Rather than sexual love being the Twilight books), the driving force seems aimed toward children on the cusp, or children in between ages. To truly understand what The most stri not really exist prior to the eighteenth century. According to Gillian Avery in Literature: An Illustrated History book industry, which may be said have had its beginnings in the 1740s. . is a very recent phenomenon; children of previous generations became literate and often highly

PAGE 10

literary century reverend John Ash, who adapted a book of English grammar for children under ten years of age and added to it a long appendix of books that children of that age should read. According to Avery, t and ., Philosophy for Children, Circle of Science, Atlas Minimus Philosophy of Tops and Balls; Robinson Crusoe; The Ple asures of The Moral Miscellany by W. Rose; Dr. fantastical one. In an age when several hundred page novels, such as Samuel Clarissa (the Penguin edition of which, it should be noted, tops one Cecilia, children were clearly intend ed to read history, philosophy, and morality when they were not reading serious works intended solely for educational purposes. It should be noted, however, that of all of the books listed above by R Fables is still widely read by children in the Western Hemisphere of ten years of age or younger. At the very least, most children who can read are familiar with the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Some of the books children read to learn in the eighteenth century are strikingly familiar to books children read in the twenty first century. One of the earliest lessons in

PAGE 11

reading is alphabet word association, and many alphabets printed today have a simple Come nius (born Jan Komensky in 1592 in Moravia) wrote one of the earliest picture books, the Orbis sensualium pictus which was a Latin grammar for young children. The Orbis sensualium pictus is remarkable, both for showing illustrations of the concept taught, but also for doing so in a secular manner. Most children who learned to read during the eighteenth century and before did so at home or at school from a Bible, which was considered one of the most useful tools in educating children. Before the mid ninetee nth century, children were often thought of as full formed miniature adults. The world was often a harsh place, and children were not often placated or sheltered from its realities. Avery mentions this in her essay, noting What strikes us now is the abse nce of all concession to childhood as some later generations came to see it a time of innocence and make believe, pictures show life as it is, and as his own children experienced it war, torture, deat h, disease, and deformities. (7) Thankfully, by the late eighteenth century, attitudes toward children and how they should be brought up were changing. The changes came slowly and gradually, but by the time Burnett wrote the first draft of A Little Princess (a novella titled Sara Crewe ), progressivism and reform laws had been passed that took most children out of factory jobs and serving positions and into schools.

PAGE 12

It is also in the later part of the eighteenth century that the first novels meant to be read for children were published. Many of these were still quite didactic and religious in nature, but they also served a useful purpose in primarily being about children the same age as the children the books were intended for. One of the f The Governess; or The Little Female Academy (1749) conventions that would later influence authors such as Burnett and still appear in today. Despite the title, the book is more about Jenny Peace and her fellow pupils rather than the titular governess, appropriately named Mrs. Teachum. Like A Little Princess, Jenny Peace is a storyteller, and she uses the medium of storytelling to teach her fellow classmates moral lessons. Unlike Sara, all of serious nature. When The Governess was published in 1740, there were still obvious concerns about the content of the books that a girl especially young schoolgirls, read. Mrs. Teachum is explicit in her warnings to Jenny Peace about the kinds of stories she should be reading to her fellow pupils: I have no objection, Miss Jenny to your reading any Stories to amuse you, provided you read them with the Disposition of a Mind not to be hurt from them. A very good Moral may indeed be drawn from the Whole, and likewise from every Part of it. . Giants, Magic, Fairies, and all Sorts of supernatural are introduced only to amuse and divert. .great Care is taken to prevent your being carried away, by these high flown Things, from that Simplicity of Taste and Manners which is my chie f Study to inculcate ( 84)

PAGE 13

with the kind of moral tales R Ash would recommend about thirty years later. The warning against losing books from the eighteenth century warned against girls reading too many romances duri ng their youth. 2 From the mid nineteenth through the early twenty f irst centuries, fantasy became (1865), George MacDonald The Princess and the Goblin The Hobbit (1937) Chronicles of Narnia ( The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1997). All of these best se in The Governess books, which in the eighteenth century was so feared, is now th e staple genre of And where does Frances Hodgson Burnett, whose books cross from the nineteenth century into the twentieth, fit into all of this? Burnett comes at the midpoint s of the eighteenth century and the independence focused fantasy books of the twentieth century. Burnett actually straddles this divide quite nicely. Her books definitely have a focus in basic Christian morals, but they also show the importance of realisti c portrayals of children. While Sara from A Little 2 The Female Quixote Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796), and Jane Northanger Abbey (published 1 817, written c. 1798 1799).

PAGE 14

Princess may be quite similar to Jenny Peace, Mary and Colin from The Secret Garden have more in common with the Harry Potter characters as they struggle to confront and overcome their own t empers and prejudices. Burnett sets her books in realistic, named places (India, London, the Yorkshire moors), and has her protagonists overcoming real difficulties, but she sprinkles in enough of the fantastical to keep her books from being seen as true t o life stories. On the surface, A Little Princess is a riches to rags to riches again story, set in a boarding school, about a girl who loses her father striking sim ilarit y to the Cinderella fairy than it appears upon first read through. The same holds true for The Secret Garden It first appears to be a simple tale about two lonely children who find health and happiness by re pl anting a ruined garden, but in this case Burnett adds touches of the Gothic as well what appears to be quite simple on the surface actually becomes more complicated the more one reads into each book. To understand the underlying richness in her books, one must take a closer look at the author herself. Just as Burnett had complex, independent characters, Burnett also had a complex life, one that she spent determined to hold on to her own independence. I modern sensibilities, and Burnett also seems to straddle similar divides herself. She was British by birth, but she spent half of he r life in America. She loved children and family, Little Lord Fauntleroy, was published, she built an image of herself as a devoted mother. Yet she rarely spent time

PAGE 15

with her own children, inste ad devoting herself to her writing and income. On the surface Burnett was a respectable late Victorian wife and mother, but her private life was quite messy, riddled with divorce, death, depression, and an extramarital affair that spanned ten years. Burn challenging personal life directly affected her books in subtle but important ways. Just as the environment has a direct impact on the lives of Mary, Colin, and Dickon in The Secret Garden and Sara in A Little Princess, so it was with Burnett, who spent her formative years in the bustling industrial city of Manchester. She was about as far away from India, gardens, and moors as she could be, but Burnett took comfort in reading about the places she could not be. Later, she would reflect on the fa ct I lived in a place much given to long, rainy days in Manchester, be longer and drearier than others in the large world. Nothing is more the nursery fire would have shortened the hours and shut out the consciousness of lea den skies and ceaseless drizzling of sweeping rain. of all types and characteristics. If one did not personally remember them, one would not quite believe that there was a period when books as apart from school books were absolutely disregarded as a necessary factor in the existence of young human beings

PAGE 16

New York Times, November 14, 1920 quoted by Tatar in Enchanted Hunter s, 206) As an adult, Burnett considered her own childhood something of the Dark Ages of Manchester. Be accomplished author of adult books. Accordi ng to Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, a pre eminent Burnett scholar, Burnett, like her character Sara, was always full of stories, but she only started publishing them when she needed money to support herself and her known and best paid woman au 8). However, her biggest success came with the 1886 publicatio Little Lord Fauntleroy. After the e eyes of the Gerzina 9). During all of this success, however, her marriage was on the rocks (she was separated from her American husband, Swan Burnett, whom she would spas and hea lth resorts throughout Europe. youngest son Lionel died from tuberculosis four years after the publication of Little Lord Fauntleroy nel can be seen in her treatment of parents in both A Little Princess and The Secret Garden By giving the orphaned Mary and Sara a parent at the end of her books, specifically a stable father figure which Burnett could not

PAGE 17

provide for her own children, Bu rnett tried to atone through her fiction for the death of hang over Burnett for the rest of her life, but Burnett also gave ceaselessly to charities and philanthropic c auses that supported children. These actions, combined with her entire life. A Little Princess, where B urnett clearly shows the plight of working class and homeless children in urban London at the turn of the twentieth century. Having experienced similar conditions to that of Becky and Sara, Burnett shows herself to be hopeful about the future of poor, pare same, hopeful ending. No matter what problems the characters in her books must will overcome them, often showing remarkable integrity of personal character and changing their world for the better.

PAGE 18

Chapter 1: Survival and Story telling in A Little Princess Roger Scruton A Little Princess, Sara Crewe, the child protagonist of the novel, uses her story telling ability to console herself and others in the absence of proper parent figures. Sara uses her imagination and ability to make up fairy sto ries to ability, her make believe stories are necessary for her survival as a penniless orphan. A Little Princess is set at a boarding school in London, and the adult figure Miss Maria Minchin, the headmistress of the school, who should fill the role of parent while Sara and the other students are in her care, shows herself in many ways to be an inferior and unnatural parent figure, not unlike the wicked Stepmother in the Ci nderella fairy tale that the plot of A Little Princess resembles in its treatment of Sara. 3 The students of Miss is the only person at the school with the ability to of fer comfort, which she does by telling her friends make the book as they are what truly sustains Sara when her father dies, leaving her penniless. telling and her abil ity to imagine something better even in the bleakest 3 Several literary critics have noted the similarities between the Perrault version of the Cinderella fairy tale and A Little Princess. Among the references I have used, Elisabeth Rose Gruner, Phyllis Bixler Koppes, and U.C. Kn oepflmacher make the most of these similarities in their arguments.

PAGE 19

moments of her life are the true backbone of A Little Princess. For as the title suggests Sara still imagines herself to be a princess, even as she is starving and dressed in black, illustrating the pow er of her make believe fantasy to modify her actual condition. Moreover, the innate goodness that Sara possesses seems to inspire others in the story to the book try to be more like her. stories that promote good and healing, and the other kind of stories, the kind of stories that are lies. arie Antoinette, and Sara: Roles and Role Models in A Little Princess, telling, which involves fantasy and imaginative story g, seems preeminently a matter of taste: Miss Minchin is vul (172). Burnett sets up Sara in the beginning of the book as a rational creature even though she has abundant imagination and ability to make believe. Burnett also sets the reader up to compare Sara and Miss dislike toward the new adult figu re in her life. I should be telling a sto she [Sara] thought; and I should know I was telling a story. I believe I am as ugly as she is in my

PAGE 20

After she had known Miss Minchin longer she l earned why she had said it. She discovered that she said the same thing to each papa and mamma who brought a child to her school. (9) with the flattering machinations herself with Sar a because Sara is sincere, and furthermore Sara sees through the insincerity of Miss Minchin. This first glimpse of Miss Minchin sets her up as the main immediately that Mi ss Minchin makes a bad parent figure to Sara and the rest of the girls in her charge at her school. It is little wonder then that most of the girls look to Sara as their mother figure and confidante so very soon after her arrival at the school. ory telling also quickly allows her to make intimate friendships at Miss Lottie, and Becky, are fascinated with her story telling ability and the friendship is formed around Burnett uses story telling in this regard as a kind of magic. By her ability to tell stories and to have her friends almost believe them, Sara weaves a kind of magic protective web a round herself and those she cares about. Furthermore, Sara also weaves this same

PAGE 21

protective web around the reader of A Little Princess. The book also has a comforting feel as we, the readers, are comforted by a story told by Frances Hodgson Burnett just as Sara comforts herself and others by telling stories. precocious children may seem in the modern age. Claudia Mills addresses this issue in E thics of the Author/A writes While A Little Princess is the most extreme in its singing of the challenging the barriers that would exclude anyone fro m a place in the audience. Although Burnett gushes on about the marvels of the storyteller, she insists that while the rest of us may not be storytellers, at least we deserve to hear stories. In each of her three central friendships, Sara breaks down some barrier that impedes the friend from participating fully in the sharing of stories. (185) In this way, the stories that Sara tells are just as much a consolation to the reader as they are to the other characters in the book. And just as the other character s soon want to through A Little Princess, just like Sara positively impacts and chan ges those around her.

PAGE 22

befriends Ermengarde out of equal parts pity and righteous indign ation at the way Ermengarde gets a French word incorrect, taking her bad temper out on a w eaker person. Even though Ermengarde is fat and somewhat dull and therefore badly treated by Miss Minchin and the other pupils, she is also good natured and Sara immediately jumps to her defense. The way Burnett regards Miss Minchin and Sara as diametrical ly opposed to one another makes it more natural for Sara to befriend someone whom Miss Minchin treats badly. As can be seen throughout the book, Ermengarde has something of a learning problem, or rather a problem learning the traditional way that Miss Minc hin teaches, by life in disgrace or in tears. She learned things and forgot them; or if she remembered ngarde and help her learn what her father wants her to learn because Sara tells stories to make the learning Sara, not knowing what else to do with them. read them so lways remember what I (133)

PAGE 23

By having Ermengarde learn in an unconventional way (just as Mary Lennox learns on her own in The Secret Garden ), Burnett shows that childhood education need not necessarily be boring or focused s olely upon fact based memorizations. Sara is able to teach Ermengarde through her imaginative stories, and she is able to get Ermengarde and the other children to apply that knowledge, as Ernmengarde does with French conjugations or as Lottie does with mat access to stories by reading the books herself and then retelling their stories to her telling ability is not just limited to emotional understanding and consolation in the fac e of loss (185). Her story telling also has the very practical implication of applied learning. Also similar to Sara, and a continuing motif regarding those who Sara helps throughout the book, Ermengarde apparently has no mother. Or if she does have a mot her, the mother is never mentioned stories, makes it even easier for Sara to not only slip into the role of friend and comp anion to Ermengarde but also to stand as a mother figure for her. Sara sat upon the hearth rug and told her strange things. but what fascinatedErmengarde the most was her fancy about the dolls who walked and talked, and who could do anything they ch ose when human beings were out of the room, butwho must keep their powers a secret and so flew

PAGE 24

(25) By her story telling, her listening and speaking to Ermengarde as though Ermengarde is A Generic Analysis of Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden ld who converts others. Cedric Fauntleroy and Sara Crewe become the agents of secular conversions or being friends with imaginative and intelligent Sara, a person who makes up her own stories and actually likes to read books, Ermengarde finds her own self confidence gradually growing, to the point where she sneaks up to the attic to find out what has n go both ways being around Sara makes Ermengarde want to be a better person as well. Later in the book when Sara is the one at a disadvantage, Ermengarde comes to her rescue by bringing her food, but the food is taken by Miss Minchin before either of the m can eat any of it (139). And by helping someone quite below her in terms of cleverness, Sara shows her ability to be patient as well as kind. Therefore, the friendship between Ermengarde and Sara can be regarded as a mutually beneficial one. Gruner calls the a point of showing that the learning in this relationship goes both ways. Gruner quotes A Little Princess with a simil ar idea:

PAGE 25

ensuing transformation performed by Ram Dass. The real magic is the parasitic Ermengarde into someo ne who is capable of supposing supposing in the sense of emphasizing with another human being (239 40). But it is not only Ermengarde who learns this lesson; it is, as Keyser further notes, Sara herself. (Keyser, cited in Gruner, 177) The other student w ith whom Sara makes a particularly intimate friendship with at Ermengarde. We are to caregiver. Because Sara has such an abundant imagination, she proves to be quite capable At a very young age Lottie somehow learns that she is an object of pity because her mother has died, and consequently she is very spoiled, and pitches tremendous tantrums whenever she does not get her own way. Sara does something rather incredible um, after both Miss fail to quiet Lottie.

PAGE 26

Sara stood by the howling, furious child for a few moments, and looked down at her without saying anything. Then she sat down f lat on the floor quiet. This was a new state of affairs for little Miss Leigh, who was accustomed, when she screamed, to hear other people protest and implore and command and coax by tu rns. To lie and kick and shriek, and find the only person near you not seeming to mind in the least, attracted her attention. (32) doing the best thing for the girl tha t no one else has tried: she ignores her. Like most seeking, and while most of the adults in curiosity eventually win o ut over her shrieks and cries. As she did with her relationship with Ermengarde, here we also see Sara making those around her better through their acquaintance with her. After knowing Sara, Ermengarde transforms from a dull, somewhat selfish creature int o a young lady who and friendship. Lottie essentially goes from a baby with an attachment problem to a child who knows her mother is dead, but who can still attain a kin d of contentment in her life. Karen Coats writes about a similar experience from the classic picture book Stellaluna in her own work Looking Glasses and Neverlands: Lacan, Desire, and Subjectivity in While a comparison between the pi cture book Stellaluna, which is about a fruit bat, and A Little Princess may seem like a stretch, the themes in both books

PAGE 27

are actually quite similar. They both deal with the experience of being different, an outsider, in a strange community. In A Little Princess, Lottie and Sara are both outsiders nt, and her own flare with words help Lottie bridge the gap between despondence and selfishness to acceptance. As Coates explains, how one might escape a passionate a ttachment to subjection and replace it with a enrollment in the school can b e viewed as a radical change, and definitely one for the better. Through her storytelling and understanding Sara functions as both nurturing mother figure and understanding friend. The situation with the motherless Lottie shows of the best kind, and she makes a far superior parent figure And again, once Lottie has calmed down, Sara uses her story telling ability and imagination to coax the child into a better mood. Perhaps so me people might think that what she said was rather like a fairy story, but it was all so real to her own imagination that Lottie began to listen in spite of herself. She had been told that her mamma had wings and a crown, and she had been shown pictures o f ladies in beautiful white night gowns, who were said to be angels. But Sara seemed to be telling a real story about a lovely coun try where real people were. (33)

PAGE 28

a believes them to be true, and if Sara believes them, it cannot be terribly hard to convince e fundamentally telling ability that even her made l to be real in her own mind and the heaven to be a real place, Sara will be able to sustain herself with the believable power of her own stories when her life is a t its bleakest. The third and last person Sara helps with her story telling also happens to not only maid, but also does many more difficult tasks for far less pay, the only reason the greedy and penny pinching Miss Minchin allows a rather forlorn creature such as Becky to grace the hallowed hallways of her school. Unlike Ermengarde and Lottie who both come from wealthy backgrounds, Becky truly has no one to care for her except Sara. The motif of a wealthy middle class girl such as Sara helping an unfortunate lower class figure like Becky would have been familiar to Victorian readers, if not in fact a clich by the time A Little Princess was published in 1905. Jane Austen uses the story line in her novel, Emma, first published in 1815. Austen has her heroine, the wealthy Emma Woodhouse, unknown parentage. A half century later, poet El izabeth Barrett Browning had her upper class, titular heroine befriend a poor seamstress, who, despite being lower class, shows

PAGE 29

both independence and resourcefulness in the long poem Aurora Leigh. In her own novel, North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell has th e middle Hale, befriend the impoverished factory worker Bessy Higgins. North and South is a eventual death, actually wants to take acti on regarding the lives and conditions of mill workers. In none of these books does the friendship between the wealthy and/or middle class heroine drastically improve the circumstances of the lower class friend. Burnett novel ultimately proves as conserva tive in the relationship between Becky and Sara as the one. Under the care of Sara and h er guardian, Burnett makes sure to tell the reader that Before Sara takes care of her though, none of the proper adult figures in the book ing food and basic comfort. Sara is the only one who has both the ability and the compassion to care for a person so below herself in class. How Sara actually views Becky can be illustrated by what Sara tells Miss Minchin at her birthday party, when she as ks Miss Minchin if Becky can stay. Miss Minchin was scandalized. She glanced from one figure to the other. maid. Scullery maids

PAGE 30

er It really had not occurred to her to think of them in that light. Scullery maids were machines who carried coal scuttles and made fires. said Sara. (54) stenc e that Becky is shows how little Sara has been affected by the class prejudices so inherent in English society. If it were not for her wealth, Sara could be the victim of prejudice herself among or conscience in the book, Lavinia and Miss Minchin in the book, Sara is wealthy and Miss Minchin dotes upon her because of that wealth. The association between money and personal worth is the inherent flaw in Miss Minchin. In Analysis of Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Gar den superficial appearances. She thinks that Sara can be changed from a princess into a beggar simply by changing from a pink silk gauze dress to a tight bla In many ways, Miss Minchin has the same notions about money and learning that Hard Times. A Little

PAGE 31

Princess than a flesh and blood child, Thomas Gradgrind thinks of his before him, who were to be f 13). The heroine of H ard Times, Sissy Jupe, functions much in the same way Sara does, by bringing fancy to the Gradgrind family, who have built lives devoid of emotions or imagination (as Sara brings l). While recognizing that fiction is just as important as fact, especially as a way for teaching young children, Miss Minchin never does change through her interactions with Sar a. We have to presume that after Sara is restored to her rightful position and goes to live with her adopted father, the Indian Gentleman, Miss Minchin continues to think of scullery maids the beginning of Hard Times, Miss Minchin can only appreciate the tangible, real items such as money. nicely foreshadows the events that take place in the book almost immediate ly after Sara Sara finds out that she is suddenly poor, made to work, and at the mercy of others, just like Becky is. For most of the second half of the book, Sara a nd Becky are in the same insistence that Becky is inherently just the same as herself or the other girls at Miss Significantly, even though Sara finds herself in much reduced circumstances, she refuses

PAGE 32

to treat Becky any differently, and Becky does not t reat Sara differently either. Becky continues to rely upon Sara as a source of comfort, even though Sara no longer has any food to give or a warm fire to sit by. Becky can still receive motherly comfort from Sara because Sara is essentially the same. Even on the brink of poverty, Sara can still tell stories and pretend to be a princess. enlightening, given the context in which she says them. At the time Burnett wrote the original ve rsion of A Little Princess (Sara Crewe was published in 1888) the Industrial Revolution was in full swing. Many children had worked six days a week in factories, some for up to twelve hours a day, the legal maximum for child laborers in English factories until a Bill was passed in Parliament in 1842 forbidding women and children to work in coal mines (Harriet Martineau in the Penguin Victorian Reader, 244). Even though some child labor laws had been in effect for over forty years by the time Burnett wrote Sara Crewe, those laws were aimed at factory and mine workers. Domestic work, such as the work Becky and Sara do in A Little Princess, was not monitored. That is why Becky and Sara can be sent out at any hour of the day, in any weather, to collect items f or the school, and also why they can be overworked, underpaid and underfed. It also goes with the territory of the traditional rags to riches story. Before Sara can have her happy ending, she must be at her lowest point, physically, emotionally, and spirit ually. As A Little Princess shares many traits inherent to fairy tales, there has been some debate amongst literary critics as to whether or not Sara proves to be a totally passive s Hodgson

PAGE 33

story telling and imagination have positively impacted her three friends, Ermengarde, Lottie, and Becky, changing their lives for the better in various ways. As expected from a friend, it is quite natural for Sara to want to better their lives, bu t Sara also brings lasting change to strangers through her imagining of herself to be a princess. When Sara is at her lowest, coldest, hungriest, bleakest moment of her life, s he finds a muddy four pence With every intention of buying as much bread as she can afford and eating it herself, Sara is stopped a little figure which was not much more than a bundle of rags. Above the rags appeared a shock head of tangled hair, herself, Sara is still able to recognize someone much worse off than she is. A testament to her imagining herself as a princess, Sara effective imaginings. when they were poor and driven from their thrones they always shared with the populace if they met one poorer and hungrier than themselves. They always shared. Buns are a penny eac h. If it us. But it will be better than nothing. (120) Sara gives the poor girl five of her six buns (the baker having given her two extra), not because it is the right thing to d princess would

PAGE 34

have done in a similar situation. By behaving as a princess would, even at the bleakest moment of her life, Sara sustains the fantasy of her imaginings and make believe. By giving away her bread, Sara transfor ms from a pretend princess to a real one, the fantasy from her mind having come to life. Sara survives, and she saves someone else from a worse fate, through her princess fantasy. wealth have been restored to her, she revisits the bakery where the kindly baker tells her thinking of you ve away your hot buns as if you were a princess. (186) come to life, in the form of a stranger who thinks of her as a princess before she knew Sara as a wealthy little girl. And the kindly baker rosity toward other hungry children such as Sara and her ability to positively make believe herself a princess, have an everlasting impact on those she encounters. Sara c make believe and story telling ability, for the better. And that is the mark of an active literary heroine.

PAGE 35

Chapter 2: Healing and Redemption in The Secret Garden Thomas More In The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett alternative parent figures feature predominantly, but the true substitute parent figure of The Secret Garden is the garden itself The two main child characters, other died from a branch that struck her in the garden after she gave birth to Colin. Therefore Mr. Craven shuts away the garden and his son as painful reminders of the past. This problematic situation does eventually get resolved by the end of the novel, but before that can happen, Mary and Colin must learn to parent themselves. garden that a healing can begin. Along this journey, the children look to others to represent t he missing authority figures in their life. However, Mary and Colin are both extraordinarily independent children who do not rely upon anyone but themselves. In such a case, the adults in the book can help them as much as Mary or Colin will allow, but the

PAGE 36

The garden serves as a place of comfort for the two lonely children, and also as a site of healthy, natural processes. It is in the garden that Mary and Colin are able to heal their troubled relinquishes the demons that have been haunting him, notably the death of his wife which also occurred in the garden. How then is the garden the selfsame place of growth and rene wal as it is of death? reading immediately striking feature of The Secret Garden is tha Both the suzjet and the fabliau of The Secret Garden begin with the death of parents. ten years prior to the events of the story. Theref ore, Gohlke is quite correct in identifying reconciliation. The death of Ma happens to Mary, and could even be viewed as a positive action. For what purpose do appropriate the reader is told in the first chapter what sort Her father had held a position under the English Government [in India] and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to

PAGE 37

understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the ch ild out of sight as much as possible (3) Here the reader learns that as a child Mary was abandoned by her parents long before they were actually dead. Instead of being raised by her mother, tionship with her parents, and because virtually no one knows of and Mrs. Lennox had lived, one gathers from the text that they would have continued to ignore Mary, she would have continued to be raised by her ayah and other native servant s, the servants would continue to give in to her, and Mary would have grown up to be a completely selfish and unfeeling tyrant. In the interests of plot then, it is best that s still young and tractable. For as soon as Mary gets to England and away from the langorous heat of India, she begins the process of becoming a better person. Without parents or servants to coddle her, Mary is ultimately able to nurture herself to complet e health and begin work on another person, her cousin Colin. Colin also suffers from abandonment by his family, although in his case his father is when she was alive Both children are kept strangely hidden from the outside world. It is no wonder that both think the other is a ghost the first time they see each other. It is an uncanny moment when they first see each other and realize that the other is a real person an d related to them by blood. It is as though by being kept hidden so long by their

PAGE 38

respective parents, Colin and Mary are inhabitants of a ghostly world and are only so much as shadows of their proper selves. They have been living in the same house for seve occurrence when one thinks of how no one has really known of their existence for their entire lives. Even one of the officers who finds Mary, hidden away in the nursery as she always was and thus protected from the cholera, first acquaintance actually doubted that they had a child. Colin, too, is kept hidden throughout his childhood because he is under the mistaken impression that he is sickly and will die soon. Colin explains to Mary why no one told her of his existence: I am a talk me over either. The servants are not allowed to speak to me. If I live, I him. (112) Just as really wanted Colin. Ho Colin stems from a more away from an ything having to do with the death of his late wife, shutting away both his behavi or by having the portrait of his mother kept hidden from view, although he shows

PAGE 39

life, this interest in the secret garden that will eventually draw Colin out of his melancholy and gloomy bedroom. For the first time in his life, Colin actually wants wanted to see anything before, but I want to see that garden. I want the key dug up. I want the door unlocked. I would let them take me there in my chair. That would be getting affirming. It is an interest in something that is both alive and that needs nurturing. It is also a healthy i nterest in something his mother loved In short, it is something only Mary can give him, since she is the sole possessor of the key to the garden. Mary will eventually help Colin find the strength to heal himself and help him with that healing, but of cour se she can only do so if self discovery. It is no coincidence that as soon as Colin makes up his mind to get better, Spring comes to Yorkshire. Spring of course is the season of renewal. It is a time for re out of the earth. . there ar e flowers uncurling and buds on everything and the green (115). Just as Colin has awakened from his heretofore dormant life, so too has his simultaneous awakening, made all the stronger by

PAGE 40

The concept of wick is an important part of The Secret Garden. As Dickon tells Mary when she lets him into the garden, the plants she thought wer e dead are actually t hat is they are alive. Wick goes down to the very roots of the plants the part that is hardest to kill. While there may be many dead branches, the roots of most of the plants in the secret garden are still quite alive. They may be tangled, wild and forgotten, but they are still alive and able to be nourished back to health with careful cultivation. she is mentioned, either directly or indire ctly, roses are often mentioned along with her. needs is cultivating. If the o ld wood, his previous misconceptions about himself, can be let go of and if Colin can find a mothering figure, he will quite literally bloom. still quite helpless and dep endent upon others. He is analogous to the lamb Dickon brings in from the moor one evening: The new born lamb Dickon had found three days before lying by its dead mother among the gorse bushes on the moor. It was not the first motherless lamb he ha d found and he knew what to do with it. He had taken it to the cottage wrapped in his jacket and had let it lie near the fire and had fed it

PAGE 41

with warm milk. It was a soft thing with a darling silly baby face and legs rather long for its body. (112) Colin with the same patience and care as any other of his wild creatures. It also shows Colin in the context of this new family structure the three children have made for themselves. In the absence of parents, they have made an archetypal family unit of their own with Dickon standing in for the father, Mary for the mother, and Colin as their new born child who needs a lot of love and support. Once Colin is healthy and c an stand and walk on his own, this family dynamic amongst the three children will be broken because it ceases to serve its function. Afterward, the reader can almost see the transference of familial affection between Mary and Colin to something more sexual in nature, the idea being that they will eventually found a mate the future, ju st as the robin and his mate are in the later half of the book which will be discussed more thoroughly later in the paper But right now, Colin is as helpless as the lamb in the earlier passage suggests. He must learn to walk and live for himself with the support when he first actually goes inside of the garden. After Dickon and Mary help wheel him et well! I shall get well! . Mary! Dickon! I

PAGE 42

few pages earlier he was live to get healing ability of a blooming English garden. However, one has already seen the effect the gar den has on another lonely child. The response to the garden. Nature itself seems to have a restorative effect upon Mary, even though she herself is unaware of it. Sh e did not know that, when she began to walk quickly or even run along the paths and down the avenue, she was stirring her slow blood and making her self stronger by fighting with the wind which swept down from the moor. the big breaths of fresh air blown over the heather filled her lungs with something which was good for her whole thin body and whipped some red color into her cheeks and brightened her dull eyes. (27) r person, is also reflected in the changes to her body. In this case, her outer appearance changes as her inner soul changes. Mary, who has never known physical hunger, is hungry for the first time in her life after a few days of being outside amongst the gardens. the same literary trope of the outer beauty reflecting the inner be auty of the soul, but in this case, the outer changes as the inner changes. The very first paragraph describes her as

PAGE 43

small and thin. At this point, Mary does not possess feelings or compassion for anyone absorbed child she gave her entire thought to herself, as she Howeve r, she slowly learns to care for someone other than herself. It starts with the robin, who, in a karmic sort of way, actually begins the entire healing process connected with the garden. Because Mary is interested in the robin, he shows interest in her, an d it is the robin who eventually shows Mary both the key to the garden and the way to get in (41, 45). After Martha buys her a skipping rope, Mary thanks her, which shows that he had mother. She was beginning to like Martha, too. That seemed a good many people to like s through in the first half of the book enables her to take care of Colin in the second half. When Mary and Colin meet, it is Mary who looks healthier and Mary who takes compassion upon Colin and is able to both sympathize with his situation, yet at the sa me time not pity him. They are both then able to finish the healing process together, which is shown by their physical bodies hungering for sustenance, the outward manifestation of food that most children need to develop young bodies: milk (calcium), bread and porridge (carbohydrates) and eggs (protein), the kinds of food one needs if one is working in a garden all day.

PAGE 44

Mary, like many an English literature heroine before her, se ems to belong outdoors more than inside the home by the fireplace. It was not a new thing Burnett was doing is not the first heroine Pride and Prejudice. heroine, Elizabeth, seems to be extremely healthy from sp ending much of her time rain even though she is on horseback, Elizabeth walks three miles the next morning to see mping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with th 33). One gets the feeling from this quotation t hat Elizabeth would never get a trifling cold from being caught in the rain, and, like Mary, Elizabeth does not have good parental models. hypochondriac (like Colin) and her father s pends most of his time in his study, similar to Mr. Craven being away all the time, both of them keeping to the house. It is no wonder then that Elizabeth, spending so much of her time walking outdoors, is a mod el of health and is able to nurse her sick s vigor that attracts the attention of Mr. Darcy, leading to their eventual marriage and happy ending. The trend toward healthy literary heroines who spend time outside the parlor can also be s een later in the nineteenth century from the Bronte sisters, Charlotte and Emily,

PAGE 45

both of whom introduced a new kind of heroine in their respective novels, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. At least two critics have shown the parallels between The Secret Ga rden and the works of Charlotte and Emily Bronte. 4 It makes sense to place The Secret Garden Victorian literature. The Brontes actually were from Yorkshire, and one cannot help but see the influence of nature, esp ecially their descriptions of the Yorkshire moors, had upon their works. Like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and earlier Gothic works, The Secret Garden is known primarily for its descriptions of nature as well as its secrets, as one could guess from the ti secrets and more discoveries. Jane Eyre There are hidden aspects of Thornfield, the house where Jane is a governess, and there are also nocturnal wan derings which eventually lead to discoveries of hidden persons inside the house. Unlike the healing power the garden has on Misselthwaite though, there is not enough healing power hidden person, home, it makes sense why it has to go the way it does. Thornfield: no healing garden can exist in a place with such a name. Even the tree where Jane and R ochester declare their love for one another, outside of the house itself, is struck by a bolt of lightning ( 225). It is Rochester can finally be together (378). 4 See Phyllis Bixler and Anna Krugovoy Silver in Works Cited.

PAGE 46

It is also w hen Catherine from Wuthering Heights tries to be proper and is sh ut up in Thrushcross Grange that she sicken s and eventually die s from childbirth. As sick as she is, Cathy raves about what can help her: I wish I were out of doors I wish I were a girl ag ain, half savage and hardy, and free. . and laughing at injuries not maddening under them! Why am I so changed? Why does my blood rush into a hell of tumult at a few words? hills . (220) In the above passage, Cathy likens herself to a completely different person than the her that was sound and healthy has died. Not being ab le to commune with nature almost literally kills Catherine. in her new life in England, is firmly established. Nature and the gardens around Misselthwaite are arg uably more her home than the manor itself. Like Dickon, she seems to draw strength from the natural world, and by simply breathing in the fresh air. Mary and Colin actually manage to bring nature into Misselthwaite Manor, making the house well, just as the y have been made well. In fact, as the children sleep and eat and spend time in the actual house, it is just as crucial that the indoor space be as healthy for them as the garden and the outside space. Nesting indoors is just as important as nesting outdoo rs,

PAGE 47

all her wanderings through the long corridors and the empty rooms, she had seen nothing until she finds a room where mice have built a nest into a cushion of a sofa. . the mouse had eaten a hole into the cushion and made a comfortable nest there. Six baby mice were cuddled asleep near her. If there was no one else alive in the h undred rooms there were seven mice who did not look lonely at all. (35) The seemingly insignificant mice are actually quite important. They are the first living creatures Mary sees at Misselthwaite Manor other than servants or Mrs. Medlock. In their ow just as the garden that appears dead is actually quite alive. The manor is alive enough that e the garden, Misselthwaite Manor can also come to life again if it is properly worked and pruned. Consider later in the story when Colin is well enough that he and Mary can explore the house when it is too rainy to play in the garden outside. They inste ad spend the day the rose colored brocade boudoir and the hole in the cushion the mouse had left, but the his pertinent bit of information comes at a crucial point in the story. When Mary originally looks in the

PAGE 48

der knows enough about mentioned along with her name. Out of all of the nearly hundred r ooms in the house, the Misselthwaite Manor, only hers still shows some sembla nce of life and nurturing. But the mice are gone when Mary and Colin come to explore the room. Having grown themselves. All of this is in the same chapter in which the robin and his mate do some nesting of their own. Their primary concern is the care of their eggs, and the beginning of the chapter is written from their viewpoint as they watch the children from their nest. It is the only time in the book that the omniscient narrator pu rposefully places the reader in the position of being able to see what the robin sees. At first they are scared of Mary and Colin, but Colin specifically because he uses a did it determined movements remind them of cats, but then it makes them think of their own miss haps learning to fly. He mentioned this to his mate and when he told her that the Eggs would probably conduct themselves in the same way after they were fledged, she

PAGE 49

derived great pleasure from watching from watching the boy over the edge of her nest. (153) It is important for the reader to know that the children, especially Mary and Colin who are the outsiders in the garden, are welcome in the garden by those who already live there. The reader learns what the robin and his mate think of t he children because the robin essentially functions as the voice of the garden, gardens not being able to speak for ust not forget that it was the robin who showed Mary the key to the garden and the door to get in (40,45). Therefore the quite necessary. If the robins did not want the children in the garden, they would probably find a way to get them out. After all of the nesting imagery, there is one last part of the chapter. In the last few paragraphs, Mary notices that Colin has drawn back the curtain covering the portrait of his mother. Colin tells Mary that he wakened when it was bright moonlight two nights ago and felt as if the lie still. I got up. . The room was quite light and there wa s a patch of moonlight on the curtain and somehow that made me go and pull the cord. She looked right down at me as if she were laughing because she was glad I

PAGE 50

was standing there. It made me like to look at her. (156) T he symbolic drawing back of the curtain, is one of the most important in the entire book because it shows that Colin has healed. When the birds saw him earlier in the chapter they were alarmed because he was learning how to walk, which they equated with flying. Once baby birds learn how to fly, it is not long before they move out of the nest and on to making nests of their own. Not many words later, the mice are also mentioned as having gone from their own nest in the cushion. And now Colin is ready to leave his nest; the garden has d one its work and made Colin whole and ready to take his place as deep down, and now th e life and healing powers of the garden are overflowing from the a part of the magic spilling into the house, as light filling the room specifically makes a patch u also show that what was once hidden can now be shown. Colin no longer needs to be kept et him, no longer needs to be hidden. Everything now can be in the open because the Magic has done its job in healing the residents of the manor. Now that Mary and Colin are both healed, there seems to be only one person left who has still not felt the m agical healing power of the secret garden. For the status quo to truly be maintained, Mr. Craven must reunite with his son and become a proper parent figure again. As the Indian Gentleman was finally reconciled with Sara at the end of A Little Princess, re storing Sara to her proper position in the world, Mr. Craven must have

PAGE 51

enough faith in his sickly son for Colin to take his eventual place as the master of Burnett shows hi sorrow had fallen upon him when he had been happy and he had let his soul fill itself with blackness and had refused obstinately to allow any rift of light to pierce through. He had for to be taking his grief to the extreme never allowing himself to feel happy. There is a critique there of late Victorian mourning practices, made popular by Queen Victoria i n her mourning over the death of her consort, Albert. Yes, it is one thing to be sad for a time, but Mr. Craven seems to wallow in his misery. As a landlord he does not take proper care of his tenants at Misselthwaite; as a father, he does not even speak t o his son. continues over his travels in Europe during the time Mary, Colin, and Dickon wor k on the garden (70, 164 6). Gradually, he learns to replace the dark thoughts with lighter ones en he dreams of his dead wife, Lilias. Upon asking where she is, in a rather Gothic moment the dream being in the garden can be taken several different ways. She might never have left the garden in the first place, or she might have left and returned when the garden bloomed again under the care of Mary, Dickon, and Colin. Or perhaps Lilias means that now that

PAGE 52

Colin has returned to the garden, she, too, has returne d. For as we have seen in the book, a part of Lilias still lives on in her son. The climax comes with the final reconciliation of Archibald Craven and his son. Mr. Craven returns to Misselthwaite to find Colin alive where he quite literally runs crashing into Mr. Craven (170). It is only at this moment, the moment Mr. Craven finally becomes a father again to his son, can he be allowed into the garden. Into the garden, where . on every side were sheaves of late lili es standing together lilies which were white or white and ruby. He remembered well when the first had been planted that just at this season of the year their late glories should reveal themselves. (172) lso be a late bloomer. For the first time in the book the entire family comes together again the father, the son, and Lilias of course, the late unit of Mary, Dickon, and Co lin has broken apart at last to be replaced by the original family unit. The Master of Misselthwaite has been restored, the sickness and grief vanquished, and the garden left to presumably bloom for years to come.

PAGE 53

Conclusion The orig inal thesis was to consist of three chapters. The current second chapter on The Secret Garden was going to be the first chapter. The second chapter was to be on His Dark Materials trilogy (consisting of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass ). The third chapter was going to focus on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling. All of the books were twentieth century, and the plan was to focus on much of the same thing I focused on in the finished thesis. There was books, and the orphaned Harry and his abundance of father figures. However, after writing my first chapter I realized there was a fantastic element to these late twentieth ce ntury books that Burnett was not concerned with. e most part, realistic. They are set in real places: London, Yorkshire, and India, and anyone reading her books when they were published could recognize the various charac ter tro pes that she wrote about, such as an evil stepmother (Miss Minchin), an absentee father (Lord Craven), a princess (Sara), or bratty children (Mary and Colin). There were fairy tale elements in both A Little Princess and The Secret Garden but the Pullman a nd Rowling books were more concerned with modern representations of myth. My background research for Burnett consisted of re Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Anderson (Sara seems to have read and re written her own versio The Little Mermaid in A Little Princess) By contrast, Paradise

PAGE 54

Lost not to say there are not fairy tale element s in Pullman and Rowling. As I was looking at representations of parents, I was certainly drawn to that aspect of their works. However, in the midst of writing my Secret Garden chapter I realized I was more d her use of subtle fairy tale overtones than invention of myth. I was more drawn to Sara and Mary because they are such ordinary children the fate of the world does not rest on their shoulders alone. Burnett depicts thei r struggles just as dramatically and importantly as any final showdown though, and her message still rings clear: the ordinary matters. Yes, fulfillment in planting roses and Sara goes to school every day. A century has passed published, yet every person who reads them can identify with Mary and Sara on these basic levels. And this, I believe, is where Burnett is at her most clever. Her heroines strive to improve their small corners of the world and succeed on a human level tha The other aspect I realized later in deciding to write a thesis project solely focused on Burnet t was that her books are closed. That is to say they end with the protagonist (Sara, Mary, Colin) gaining a parent figure. There are no epic battles to fight or even happily after the end of the book, and no one would want to read a sequel about

PAGE 55

books are both more open ended, despite the fact that Rowling added an epilogue at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and last Harry Potter book. However, the characters in each of these books are introduced to new challenges as the books close. At the end of The Amber Spyglass Lyra must establish the Republic of He aven and is left to re build her world. A conflict springs up at the end of Deathly Hallows Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. The audience can conjecture as much as it wants about w hich school house little Al was sorted into, but unless Rowling publicly states what happens or writes a sequel, the audience is left to wonder. With Burnett, one is not left to wonder. There is a great sense of certainty which can be comforting in writ ing about books. To paraphrase Barthes, the author is dead, and we are left to write about what we have. And in the case of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden we already know that everyone will be all right after the last page is read, so there is no Burnett did not write epic fantasy. She did not break the rules of fiction or come positive outlook on life has brought comfort and pleasure to many a child and grown up who has read them in the past century. Most import antly though, they dared to be

PAGE 56

queer, prone to tantrums, and flouted adult authorit y. Burnett led the way for more realistic portrayals of children throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty first. Because of her, Edmund Pevensie could eat Turkish Delight and ally himself with the White Witch for a while. Harry Potter could mak e mistakes and learn from them. Frodo could be tempted by the Ring. Dorothy could run away from home, only to return when she needed to return. Generations of children could have adventures, learn, discover, grow. .all from the comfort of their bedro Finis

PAGE 57

Works Cited Austen, Jane. Emma. Eds. James Kinsley and Adela Pinch. New York: Oxford UP, 2008. Print. --. Northanger Abbey. Ed. Barbara M. Benedict and Deirdre L e Faye. New York: Cambridge UP, 2006. --. Pride and Prejudice. London: Penguin, 2002. Print. Literature: An Illustrated History. Ed. Peter Hunt. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. Print. Barret Browning, Elizabeth. Aurora Leigh. Chicago: Academy Chicago Limited, 1979. Print. The Secret Garden. Ed. J ames McGovran. Athens:University of Georgia Press, 1991. 208 224. Print. Ed. PeterHunt. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. Print. Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Ed. Richard J Dunn. New York: Norton, 1987. Print. Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Ed. Christopher Heywood. Peterborough Ontario : Broadview, 2002. Print.

PAGE 58

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. Little Lord Fauntleroy. New York: Signet Classics, 1992. Print. --. A Little Pr incess. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print. --. The Secret Garden. Ed. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina. New York: Norton, 2006. Print. Carpenter, Angelica Shirley, ed. In the Garden: Essays in Honor of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press Inc., 2006. Print. Carroll, Lewis. Ed. Richard Kelly. Peterborough Ontario : Broadview, 2002. Print. Coates, Karen. Looking Glasses and Neverlands: Lacan, Desire, and Subjectivity in Literature. Iowa Cit y: University of Iowa Press, 2004. Print. Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. New York: Signet Classics, 1961. Print. Fielding, Sara. The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy. Ed. Candace Ward. Peterborough Ontario : Broadview, 2004. Print. Gaskell, E lizabeth. North and South. Ed. Alan Shelston. New York: Norton, 2004. Print. In the Garden: Essays in Honor of Frances Hodgson Burnett., Ed. Angelica S hirley Carpenter. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2006. Print. reading 41.8 (1980): 894

PAGE 59

902. JSTOR. Web. 16 September 2008. s and Role Models in A Little Princess. The Lion and the Unicorn 22.2 (1998): 163 187. Project Muse. Web. 5 October, 2009. Haight, Gordon S., ed. The Portable Victorian Reader. New York, Penguin, 1976. Print. Hays, Mary. Memoirs of Emma Courtney. Ed. Miriam L. Wallace. Glen Allen: College Publishing, 2004. Print. Hunt, Peter, ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. Print. Bu 26 (1998): 229 237. Project Muse. Web. 5 October, 2009. Marvels & Tales 17.1 (2003): 15 36. Project Muse. Web. 5 October, 2009. Koppes A Generic Analysis of Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden 7 (1978): 191 207. Project Muse. Web. 5 October, 2009. Len nox, Charlotte. The Female Quixote; or The Adventures of Arabella Ed. Margaret

PAGE 60

Dalziel. New York: Oxford UP, 2008. Print. Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York: Scholastic, 1987. Print. MacDonald, George. The Princess and the Gob lin. London: Puffin Books, 1996. Print. Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2005. Print. 22.4 (1997 1998): 181 187. JSTOR. Web. 31 March 2009. Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. New York: Knopf, 1995. Print --. The Subtle Knife. New York: Knopf, 1997. Print. --. The Amber Spyglass. New York: Knopf, 2000. Print. Sunday Time s [London]. 27, April 2009. Web. 2 February 2010. Rowling, J.K. New York: Scholastic, 1998. Print. The Secret Garden. The Lion and the Unicorn. 21.2 (1997): 193 203. Project Muse. Web. 14 November, 2008. Tatar, Maria, ed. Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood. New York: Norton, 2009. Print.

PAGE 61

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982. Print.

PAGE 62

Bibliography While the following books were not cited in my thesis, they still provided valuable information during my research. Clark, Beverly Lyon, and Margaret R. Higonnet, eds. Girls, Boys, Books, Toys: Gender in Ch Baltimore: The John Hopkins UP, 1999. Print. Day, Thomas. The History of Sandford and Merton. E ds. Stephen Bending and Stephen Bygrave. Peterborough: Broadview, 2010. Print. Lurie, Alison. Ups: The Literature. Boston and New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1990. Print. Marks, Sylvia Kasey. Writing for the Rising Genera tion: British Fiction for Young People, 1672 1839. Victoria: English Literary Studies University o f Victoria, 2003. Print. Nodelman, Perry, ed. West Zippes, Jack. Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.


ERROR LOADING HTML FROM SOURCE (http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu//design/skins/UFDC/html/footer_item.html)