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ConnieAnnKirk
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Secrets (Warning: Spoilers Allowed)

[ Edited ]
What is the role of secrets in the novel?  Are secrets destructive, constructive, important, or bad?  What is the relationship between the past and secrets?


Message Edited by ConnieK on 07-15-2008 02:08 PM
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debbook
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Re: Secrets (Warning: Spoilers Allowed)

Secrets play and positive and negative role here. If Colin had not kept his fears a secret, he might not have wasted 10 years of his life on his deathbed.
But I think its good that the children keep the garden a secret for a time.They need it and adults may have ruined it for them. It makes it more special when they discover it and tend to it. And Colin couldn't resist going to a secret garden. I wouldn't be able to either, with the wonderful way Mary describes it.  Children need to have some of there own secrets where they can dream and imagine anything is possible.
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Everyman
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Re: Secrets (Warning: Spoilers Allowed)

But how many adults today allow children that time of secret play? We structure our children's lives almost totally, school (where even at recess children are under the watchful eyes of adults who get very concerned when they disappear into private corners), organized sports, play groups (carefully supervised, of course), and on and on. How many parents of ten year old children today would allow their children to be off doing they don't know what they don't know where for hours on end?

If you are a parent or know a parent of young children, ask yourselves, how much chance is there for a ten year old boy and girl to go off and play alone for hours with no adult knowing where they are or what they're doing? I would say zilch, zippo, zip chance.

And don't all parents today expect, even insist, that their children tell them everything, that we want our children to talk to us, to share their lives with us, to tell us who their friends are, what they're doing, etc.?

Could the events of the Secret Garden ever actually happen to children, at least those in the US, in this day and age?

Not that this makes the book any less wonderful. But I think today's children must view it somewhat differently than when it was first written. Even in the 1950s I could imagine myself living this sort of life; my friends and I roamed the neighborhood freely, played in the woods, swam in the streams, cut down sumac trees in the woods and had jousts and sword fights, played sandlot baseball and football with no adult anywhere near to organize us or make sure we played by the rules, lived very unsupervised childhoods. I could easily imagine having a secret of that sort and being able to keep it from my parents, who were always there to listen to me if I wanted to talk but who didn't see interrogating me as to my every though as part of their parental responsibility.

I doubt that children today could possibly believe that such a childhood could actually exist. For them, I think, the book is not realistic, but total fantasy. Good fantasy, but fantasy all the same.


debbook wrote:
Secrets play and positive and negative role here. If Colin had not kept his fears a secret, he might not have wasted 10 years of his life on his deathbed.
But I think its good that the children keep the garden a secret for a time.They need it and adults may have ruined it for them. It makes it more special when they discover it and tend to it. And Colin couldn't resist going to a secret garden. I wouldn't be able to either, with the wonderful way Mary describes it.  Children need to have some of there own secrets where they can dream and imagine anything is possible.



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debbook
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Re: Secrets (Warning: Spoilers Allowed)



Everyman wrote: in part
But how many adults today allow children that time of secret play? We structure our children's lives almost totally, school (where even at recess children are under the watchful eyes of adults who get very concerned when they disappear into private corners), organized sports, play groups (carefully supervised, of course), and on and on. How many parents of ten year old children today would allow their children to be off doing they don't know what they don't know where for hours on end?

If you are a parent or know a parent of young children, ask yourselves, how much chance is there for a ten year old boy and girl to go off and play alone for hours with no adult knowing where they are or what they're doing? I would say zilch, zippo, zip chance.

I agree. I don't have children but I have nieces and nephews. When I was a kid, my brothers and I would go off for the day in the neighborhood, maybe come home for lunch, and my parents didn't make us check in. We had forts in the woods that no one know of ( or they didn't let on ). We went everywhere and we didn't have cell phones, lol. Now the idea of allowing kids to do that would be considered bad parenting by many. I think people are more aware of the bad  things that can happen to children but that doesn't necessarily mean they are more prevalent.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
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travelighter
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Re: Secrets (Warning: Spoilers Allowed)


Everyman wrote:

Even in the 1950s I could imagine myself living this sort of life; my friends and I roamed the neighborhood freely, played in the woods, swam in the streams, cut down sumac trees in the woods and had jousts and sword fights, played sandlot baseball and football with no adult anywhere near to organize us or make sure we played by the rules, lived very unsupervised childhoods. I could easily imagine having a secret of that sort and being able to keep it from my parents, who were always there to listen to me if I wanted to talk but who didn't see interrogating me as to my every though as part of their parental responsibility.






Yes, I grew up in the 50s too and understand what you mean. The second grade students I teach are very heavily programmed in extracurricular events. In the curriculum we must train the students about secrets and how important it is to have trusting adults they can tell secrets too. But I think the best parents today can allow their child secret time or fantasy time.

 

My dentist was telling me this week that his 6 year old is in swimming four days a week, tennis two days, and t-ball two days. I said, "That's fine...but I hope he has lego time too." By that I meant, just time to build, play, fantasize, imagine. It's even okay to just lay on the bed and look at the ceiling...but laying in the grass is better!

 

Good parents still encourage this. But teachers, librarians, and grandparents need to encourage it too.

 

Any, you know, fantasy is not a bad thing at age 60 either

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