Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
0 Kudos

Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27

Readers who have completed the novel may wish to discuss its final chapters here.  Warning:  You may hear about the end of the book in this thread!
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27

I was disappointed that Martha seemed to totally disappear from the book shortly after Colin and Mary met. I really liked Martha, and would have liked her to be part of the secret, and I think she would have been better than Ben as a support during their early explorations of the garden and their own souls. But she just faded totally out of view.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27

I'm unclear, having finished the book, exactly what Burnett's understanding of Magic (always with a capital M) is. We could perhaps spend some time profitably discussing this.

The absence of any Christian elements in the book, at least I noticed none, is striking for a book written about Yorkshire England in 1911. I don't recall any characters, not even "Mother," ever mentioning going to church or quoting the Bible or any religious admonition.

According to the annotated version I have, Burnett said "I believe, of course, in magic. Magic is the bringing about of unbelievable things through an obstinate faith that nothing is too good to be true, and many things are too idiotically bad to be able to stand up on their own feet if you charge right at them laughing aloud and with your lance in rest."

But this doesn't seem to be the case in The Secret Garden. Neither Mary nor Colin initially have an obstinate faith that nothing is too good to be true; quite, it seems to me, the opposite. What happens to them is, it seems to me, quite different from that. The magic brings belief to them, they don't bring about the magic through their beliefs.

I have only read brief squibs about Burnett's life, but a few things I found suggest that at one point in her life she was more interested in spiritualism than in organized religion, and that she studied Christian Science, which teaches healing by spiritual power rather than by traditional medicine. I think the juxtaposition between traditional medicine, which totally fails Colin, and spiritualism, which heals him, is striking in the book.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Contributor
travelighter
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27


Everyman wrote:
I'm unclear, having finished the book, exactly what Burnett's understanding of Magic (always with a capital M) is. We could perhaps spend some time profitably discussing this.

The absence of any Christian elements in the book, at least I noticed none, is striking for a book written about Yorkshire England in 1911. I don't recall any characters, not even "Mother," ever mentioning going to church or quoting the Bible or any religious admonition.

According to the annotated version I have, Burnett said "I believe, of course, in magic. Magic is the bringing about of unbelievable things through an obstinate faith that nothing is too good to be true, and many things are too idiotically bad to be able to stand up on their own feet if you charge right at them laughing aloud and with your lance in rest."

But this doesn't seem to be the case in The Secret Garden. Neither Mary nor Colin initially have an obstinate faith that nothing is too good to be true; quite, it seems to me, the opposite. What happens to them is, it seems to me, quite different from that. The magic brings belief to them, they don't bring about the magic through their beliefs.

I have only read brief squibs about Burnett's life, but a few things I found suggest that at one point in her life she was more interested in spiritualism than in organized religion, and that she studied Christian Science, which teaches healing by spiritual power rather than by traditional medicine. I think the juxtaposition between traditional medicine, which totally fails Colin, and spiritualism, which heals him, is striking in the book.

The children sang the Doxology together in the garden. I thought in this section of the book that there was a Christian influence. I thought Burnett was trying to persuade us that the Magic the children felt came from a higher source. I don't know much about spiritualism, but it made me feel Burnett was moving the reader to believe that it was Christian faith that was the Magic. You feel that this was more spiritualism? Tell me more. In many ways, I think I am more of a spiritualist who was raised in the Christian faith, so I may not truly know the difference. Help me to understand, please.

Contributor
travelighter
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27


Everyman wrote:
I was disappointed that Martha seemed to totally disappear from the book shortly after Colin and Mary met. I really liked Martha, and would have liked her to be part of the secret, and I think she would have been better than Ben as a support during their early explorations of the garden and their own souls. But she just faded totally out of view.

  I liked Martha, too. It seemed Dickon's mother gained importance and I was a little sorry when we actually met her. I liked her being a figure that was not fully embodied in our minds. What did you think of her?

Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27


travelighter wrote:

Everyman wrote:
I was disappointed that Martha seemed to totally disappear from the book shortly after Colin and Mary met. I really liked Martha, and would have liked her to be part of the secret, and I think she would have been better than Ben as a support during their early explorations of the garden and their own souls. But she just faded totally out of view.

  I liked Martha, too. It seemed Dickon's mother gained importance and I was a little sorry when we actually met her. I liked her being a figure that was not fully embodied in our minds. What did you think of her?


That's a nice point about Martha's mother being a more interesting and perhaps more powerful figure when absent than when present.  I like that thought.  I agree that actually meeting her was a bit of a letdown for the reader (though I don't think it was a letdown for Mary or Colin).  

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27


Everyman wrote:

travelighter wrote:

Everyman wrote:
I was disappointed that Martha seemed to totally disappear from the book shortly after Colin and Mary met. I really liked Martha, and would have liked her to be part of the secret, and I think she would have been better than Ben as a support during their early explorations of the garden and their own souls. But she just faded totally out of view.

  I liked Martha, too. It seemed Dickon's mother gained importance and I was a little sorry when we actually met her. I liked her being a figure that was not fully embodied in our minds. What did you think of her?


That's a nice point about Martha's mother being a more interesting and perhaps more powerful figure when absent than when present.  I like that thought.  I agree that actually meeting her was a bit of a letdown for the reader (though I don't think it was a letdown for Mary or Colin).  


Yes, sometimes another person can build up a person more so than the person really is. It was like Martha idolized her Mom. And for good reason. She was or seemed to be a great mom. She kept her house clean, the kids fed with what she could find to eat and so on. And I do not think she ever neglected to use her speech to teach them through their lifetime. But her imagination and enthusium was great [played out with Mary and Colin also. Yes to me, Martha was building her up to be "that magical Mary Poppins.

Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27

The other thing that impressed me about Martha's mother was that she was able to talk to Mr. Craven on a basis of equality, not subservience.  She recognized that he was "gentry," but still spoke to him essentially as an intellectual and emotional equal (or perhaps superior!)
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27


Everyman wrote:
The other thing that impressed me about Martha's mother was that she was able to talk to Mr. Craven on a basis of equality, not subservience.  She recognized that he was "gentry," but still spoke to him essentially as an intellectual and emotional equal (or perhaps superior!)

 

You are right about that, but I think because she knew and talked to his late wife impressed him also .
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter by Chapter: 22 - 27

Everyman--I like this question.  It's coming up on the board in a couple of incarnations, so  I'm going to start its own thread on the topic.

 

Thanks!

 

~ConnieK

 

 

 


Everyman wrote:
I'm unclear, having finished the book, exactly what Burnett's understanding of Magic (always with a capital M) is. We could perhaps spend some time profitably discussing this.

~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Users Online
Currently online: 4 members 195 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: