The Secret Garden summary:Short Summary On The Book The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden Summary 

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At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden Author

Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett was born in England but brought up in America. She was famous among children as she was a children's novelist. Some of her greatest works are Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden Theme

The story of the secret garden was written when India was still fighting for its independence. It is about the 20th century when this story was written. This story sends a message to society that if we neglect something in our life, it will die eventually that will make it worse. But if we work upon it, it will thrive with satisfaction and joy and eventually, we will find peace with it.

The Secret Garden Summary

Now we will read an overview of that story and will see how the author tried to teach us this lesson through her story. If you want to enjoy the whole story, then read the book. So, without wasting any more words, let's start the summary !!! Hope you like it !!!

wealthy family in India

It was the 20th century when a beautiful girl Mary Lennox was born in a very wealthy family in India. At that time India was considered a British Empire. She was neglected and unloved by her parents. She was basically looked after by the native servants of that house and they let her spoiled, aggressive and self-centered.  When she turned 10, people began to die in cholera, turned it into an epidemic disease. Unfortunately, her parents also died in that. Later, she was discovered healthy but alone in the house. After the death of her parents, she lived in India with an English priest who was her family member also. But later she was sent to Yorkshire, England, to live with Archibald Craven. Archibald Craven was her distant uncle who she had never met before. In Yorkshire, he had an enormous residential building where Mary was kept to live. The name of that house was Misselthwaite Manor.

As we all know now, that from childhood Mary was a spoiled, aggressive and self-centered girl. She didn’t like her new home. She disliked almost each and everything about that house. But there was a servant named Martha Sowerby who was like an angel to her. Martha told Mary about the tragedy of the wife of Mr.Craven. The name of her wife was Mrs. LIlias Craven. Lilias liked to spend hours in her private garden. She used to grow roses there. But one day she met an accident and died there in the garden. Mr. Craven couldn’t bear the loss of his wife so in grief he locked the garden and buried the key. This story brought some changes in her. She wanted to find that garden herself. She slowly started to show some improvements in her behavior like she was not much aggressive as before, she didn’t seem spoiled anymore and all that. She started to like Martha and enjoyed her company. She also started to make new friends like the gardener Ben Weatherstaff and a red-breasted robin. Later she discovered that almost every night she heard some echoes of crying. This made her more curious.

 One day while Mary was playing in other gardens, her robin drew her attention to a disturbed area in the garden. There she discovered the key and later the garden itself. Now she wanted to garden herself so she asked Martha for the tools on which Martha replied that she had sent those to her 12-year-old brother Dickon. Later he came to accompany Mary. Eventually, both started to like each other. As their friendship got deeper, Mary told him about the secret garden of that house.

One night Mary couldn’t check her curiosity anymore. So, she followed the echoes and found that a young boy about her age was crying in a hidden room. Later she discovered that he was her cousin, Colin. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Craven. Colin was actually suffering from an unknown disease that affected his spinal cord. Due to this disease, he was deprived of walking. Because of that, he spent more of his time in bed. This made Mary very sad. She along with Dickon visited Colin every day to make him feel better and to keep him distracted from his pain. Eventually, Mary got access to the secret garden. When she told this to Colin, he wanted to see that. Colin was put into his wheelchair and took him to the garden. It was the first time Colin was out of his room in years.

if you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

When they entered the garden, they saw Ben Weatherstaff there standing over the wall on a ladder. Ben was astonished to find children there and admitted that he thought Colin was crippled. Colin proved him wrong by forcing himself to stand on his own feet. Although he couldn’t stand that much longer because of the house of his legs for a very long time, he proved that his disease in the spinal cord did no damage to his legs. Finding that Colin could stand on his own feet, the children made a plan not to tell anyone about that as they were going to surprise Mr.Craven with the improvement of Colin’s health. Mr. Craven lived abroad. Coincidentally when the health of Colin was improving, he found a new spirit in himself. Later he dreamt that his wife was calling her name from the secret garden. When he got the later from Mrs. Sowerby, he without thinking twice came back home and got emotional when he saw the secret garden and felt in his heart that his wife was calling his name. When he saw his son, Colin, he was overjoyed to see him on his own feet for the first time. The servants were stunned when they saw Mr. Craven and Colin were walking together and went inside Misselthwaite Manor.
And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden Characters

Mary Lennox

Mary Lennox was a 10-year-old girl who played the role of one of the two protagonists in the novel The Secret garden. Her character had changed drastically from a spoiled, aggressive and self-centered child to a spirited, cheerful and loving friend. Through this character, the author showed us that no matter what situation you are in there you can be saved. In the story, Mary was the lead character but later it was shifted to Colin.

Colin Craven

Colin Craven was the son of Archibald Craven. His mother died during his birth. His father couldn’t look at his face as his face resembled his mother so much. Like Mary, he was ignored since birth. He was bedridden due to his illness. But later in the story, we found that he had undergone a huge change in personality. He became hopeful and started to dream. He later won his father’s love. With the help of this character, the author wanted to convey the message that never loses hope in life. In the story, later Colin became the main protagonist.

Dickon Sowerby

Dickon Sowerby was the main angel of the story. He was the brother of Martha Sowerby and the son of Susan Sowerby. It was because of him that both Mary and Colin started to recover from their old and miserable lifestyle. He was 2 years older than them but it was his quality that whoever came near him, he could make them cheerful. He had an immense love for animals. It looked like he could change the entire nature around him. He was compared to the god Pan. He worked there with his sister Martha.

Martha Sowerby

Martha Sowerby was the elder sister of Dickon Sowerby and the daughter of Susan Sowerby. Martha was a very frank and approachable girl. She worked as a maidservant in Misselthwaite Manor. It was her who told Mary about the secret garden. Martha was depicted as a savior of  Mary.

Ben Weatherstaff

Ben was an elderly gardener who was the only one permitted to stay in Misselthwaite Manor. He was a very loyal gardener. It was him who took care of the secret garden for 10 years long after Mrs.Craven’s death. He helped children to keep the location of the secret garden a secret to other servants.

Archibald Craven

Archibald Craven was the master of Misselthwaite Manor. He was suffering from depression since the death of his wife. He lived abroad because he wanted to go away from the Manor and from his son, Colin as Colin’s face resembled his mother. Later, he underwent a change of heart when his wife came to him in his dream and told him to come home. He also made peace with his son when he found out that his son was in perfect health.
Two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way - or always to have it.
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

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