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becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THE SECRET GARDEN - Mary and Colin

It's interesting that the book's publisher would come up with that question. I agree, considering the way those kids were raised, how else could they have been expected to behave? I do think Colin was bad-tempered, but with good reason. For the most part, I think Mary used her behavior as a form of strength, to assert herself. In those days, I think kids were often tucked away with nannies and governesses, well out of sight from their parents. I imagine many kids acted out just to make their parents remember they were alive. (Of course, this was problem more of an upper class problem.)

 

 

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KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THE SECRET GARDEN - Mary and Colin


becke_davis wrote:

It's interesting that the book's publisher would come up with that question. I agree, considering the way those kids were raised, how else could they have been expected to behave? I do think Colin was bad-tempered, but with good reason. For the most part, I think Mary used her behavior as a form of strength, to assert herself. In those days, I think kids were often tucked away with nannies and governesses, well out of sight from their parents. I imagine many kids acted out just to make their parents remember they were alive. (Of course, this was problem more of an upper class problem.)

 

 


 

I don't find it odd, at all, these questions from the publisher...reminds me of the old B&NU questions, which were always from the publishers.  I truly love these types of introspective looks at these stories and characters.  But I know some people don't...just too analytical for them.  I know I can get carried away with my introspection....and I do take these seriously, most of the time, when I answer these questions.  For the most part, I've been trained to take them seriously....moderators and system operators didn't allow veering from topic discussions, at all.......very strict rules back then, and I had my hands slapped more than once for veering only slightly off topic, then was sent to the Com Room...to further expound with a participant, on the topic at hand.  That's probably why I'm the way I am about these book clubs...now I go off topic, like everyone else does.  :smileyhappy:  It's not the same anymore, and I've had a heck of a time re-training myself!

 

I agree with what you've stated.  Mary and Colin both had their issues...both personal, and period...  Each character, as we get into them, will show their own strengths, and how each of them will affect the people they come in contact with. 

 

The question is, who do we blame, the parents or the kids?  I blame the parents.  And the second questions is, How does this fit into one of the larger themes of the novel, that of the "fallen world of adults?"  I'm not sure how to answer this, except to say, parents make mistakes.  And kids become the results of these mistakes.  We all fail in one way or another, but the trick is, how to change that behavior into a positive result.....adults have to learn form the kids, as well as the kids learning from adults.  Positive roll models are a must.  These questions lead us to the next set of questions.

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becke_davis
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Re: THE SECRET GARDEN - Mary and Colin

Oh, I definitely blame the parents. I remember reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's HOUR OF GOLD, HOUR OF LEAD years ago -- I love the way she writes, but I'd been intrigued by the Lindbergh kidnapping since I first heard of it as a child. I found -- and spent hours poring over -- a library book that included almost the full transcripts of the trial. With that as background, I was stunned by AML's cavalier attitude to her kids -- she was very career-oriented, and would go off for months at a time, without (apparently) a care in the world at leaving her kids in the hands of caregivers. It was common for the very wealthy, I guess, but it really grated on me. The adults in The Secret Garden made me feel the same way.

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KathyS
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THE SECRET GARDEN - Mary and Colin

[ Edited ]

becke_davis wrote:

Oh, I definitely blame the parents. I remember reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's HOUR OF GOLD, HOUR OF LEAD years ago -- I love the way she writes, but I'd been intrigued by the Lindbergh kidnapping since I first heard of it as a child. I found -- and spent hours poring over -- a library book that included almost the full transcripts of the trial. With that as background, I was stunned by AML's cavalier attitude to her kids -- she was very career-oriented, and would go off for months at a time, without (apparently) a care in the world at leaving her kids in the hands of caregivers. It was common for the very wealthy, I guess, but it really grated on me. The adults in The Secret Garden made me feel the same way.


 

I also like AML's writing, but I really know nothing about the trial, only of the kidnapping.  I knew she took time for herself, to write, but no details about her relationship with her children.... 

 

The only thing I felt when I read about these parents of Mary and Colin, was a real dislike for their selfishness.  Mary's parents lived right there, all the time, until they died,  but wouldn't even take the time to talk to her...how horrible is that?  Colin's father traveled, he had issues...escaping something he wouldn't face....to the detriment of his son.  I felt sorry for him, as I did Colin. 

 

Mary was pretty self sufficient, eventually....strong willed, is probably more like it.  If it weren't for that, the story wouldn't have a plot!  This is what I loved about this story...all the changes that took place, happy ones.  I think the author, after reading about her life in the intro to this book, needed that change, and she just wrote it into the story.  She, herself, sounded selfish, and definitely had issues with her relationship with her children.

 

I keep saying, there isn't a writer who doesn't tell you a little about themselves, in their stories....watch out!  If you're there, I'll find you!  :smileyvery-happy: