The Secret Garden Part Two Discussion

Part Two of The Secret Garden introduced us to new characters that made for some interesting discussion! Below you will find the questions posed to the group and some of my favorite responses, followed by a look at Part Three. Our next discussion will take place on July 5.

Part Two: Chapters 10-18

  • Mary is starting to make friends and is eager to have people like her. Does she believe that they should like her or is there a part of her that thinks she deserves her loneliness? 
"I don't think Mary believes people should like her, but I think she starts to recognize some of the reasons she is disliked and is making an effort to change. She seems surprised more than anything that she has won the fabor of Martha and Dickon." on Instagram
"I don't think it has ever occurred to her that friends are a commodity that she will ever have access to. All her life she has been taught, and even openly told, how disagreeable and unattractive she is. Being liked or wanted was never an option for Mary until now. All human connections before coming to England have been by force really, and she is painfully aware of that. Her sad little heart wouldn't have ever thought she could ever be owed anything so lovely as a friend." lajulie80 on Instagram 

  • How does Dickon complement Mary's evolving personality?
"Dickon is the perfect complement for Mary. He is an individual who animals trust. Mary is like a scared wild animal who has never had any "real" human interaction.
Dickon helps her grow and become more kind to others and to herself." sagonza3 on Instagram 
"Dickon is such a pure soul...every living creature responds to him. The animals, people of all walks, even the seeds he sows. He's just what Mary needs, because he makes no judgement, has no expectation, he just shows her what possibilities there are around her." Mary Phinney on Facebook
  • Was Mr. Craven what you expected? 
"I expected him to be cold and mean. I was surprised at how he was with Mary and even gave her land of her own. It's very sad how he is with his son though, always leaving him home and traveling for extended periods of time. Also I think it quite strange how he expects his Colin to die, I would think that any and all parents would hold hope even when there is not hope yet Mr. Craven is convinced even when there is no side of back deformities." Jenn Clark on Facebook
"Mr. Craven was much nicer than I was expecting. He is a deeply troubled, depressed man, but he is not mean. He has simply gone through a great tragedy and seems to have no one to help him through it. He has just bottled his grief up inside and tries to run away from it through frequent travel and trying to lock away memories of his beloved wife and happier times." favoritestitches on Instagram 
  • Why is it so important that Mary and Colin are both contrary? What does Colin teach Mary about herself? Why does Colin take such a liking to Mary?
"Since both are contrary, they are a mirror to each other. Mary sees in Colin what others saw in her. Colin likes Mary because she stands up to him and she also provides hope which no one else would give him." piroberts16 on Instagram
"I think it is important that they are both contrary because it allows them both to see the
ugliness of contrariness and learn to change their behavior in response to each other. Colin teaches Mary how she used to be viewed. I think he also helps her to develop some empathy. Of course, this is nurtured by Dickon and Martha because she had a hard time understanding Colin's tantrums. I am not sure why Colin takes a liking to Mary. Maybe it is because he can sense that she is bold headed and isn't going to put up with his crap. Which is what he may want on a subconscious level." fisch_stitches on Instagram 
  • Why do you think magic keeps being mentioned throughout the story?
"Colin and Mary have both lived such sad lives, the only way to explain all the new experiences of emotions and spring in the garden, is magic." schaineb on Instagram 
"When I'm reading a book, listening to a piece of music, or watching a play that especially touches my soul, I will say, 'That was magical.' I feel that magic is being used in that sense. The author is talking about transformation and growth in her characters." ladyrobyns on Instagram 
  • Many of us can now relate more to Colin having been cooped up in our houses due to the Coronavirus pandemic. What ways have you found to keep yourself entertained? What sort of outdoor activities have you been doing?
"Funny. I was just thinking the other day how appropriate timing this book is because I have been doing more gardening and remembered how good it felt to be outside seeing what was going on in my neglected gardens. Although I love the quiet and being by myself a lot." Larrynn Jasko on Facebook
"I joke with my kids that I haven't been bored in over twenty years. So I've actually enjoyed having the time to read, cross stitch, make photo albums, watch some great tv, work out, bike, walk. I love to garden too although this year has been challenging since I have a new puppy who loves to 'help!'" mamabeck4 on Instagram 
Part Three

Everyone needs a friend, so we are giving our little robin a companion while the rest of our flowers bloom in this part of our stitching. Unlike our other SALs, there will be a final piece of the pattern that will release after our final discussion, and it is there that the real magic will happen!

As for our alternate stitch, we are getting a start on our border and will embellish it a bit more with the final pattern piece.


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