Slow-Read Sunday: The Secret Garden (to Chapter XVII)

Thus far, we’e discussed The Secret Garden to Chapter VII and then to Chapter XIV.

Today, we’ll carry on to Chapter XVII of The Secret Garden.

1. What is Magic? 

The idea of Magic with a capital “M” is raised at p. 139. What does Mary mean when she asks about Magic? Why do you think the author chooses to capitalize “Magic?”

2. Does the story start to turn into Colin’s story?

Mary’s always involved, but we start to learn more about Colin in this part of the book. Whose story is this? Is it a story about Mary? About Colin? About The Garden?

3. If you learn something about how to repair yourself you should teach others.

Mary finds that being in the garden works for her. She then decides it might help Colin. p. 141. Do we have an obligation, once we’ve learned something, to share it with others if it’ll help them, too?

4. Mind over matter?

Dickon talks about having Colin go out in the garden because there “he wouldn’t be watchin’ for lumps to grow on his back; he’d be watchin’ for buds to break on th’ rose-bushes, an’ he’d likely be healthier.” p. 162. There are two ideas at play here: (1) the idea that not thinking about being sick makes you less likely to be sick and (2) there are forces in nature that make us healthy. Is there any truth to these two ideas?

5. Misery loves company?

Mary has a perspective shift when she sees Colin acting ill-tempered. p. 167. Before, she had always wanted people around her to be miserable if she was miserable. Now, she sees Colin engaging in that behavior and thinks he’s wrong. What precipitated this perspective shift?

6. Is Colin jealous of Dickon?

Colin is mad at Dickon because he “keeps [Mary] playing in the dirt when he knows I am all by myself.” p. 168. Does that jealousy fuel bad or good behavior in Colin?

Next week, we’ll read on to Chapter XXII.

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