How does the secret garden transform Colin and Mary?

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slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary has been orphaned and neglected, and Colin is sickly boy shunned from the rest of the household and kept hidden. The two are both stubborn, spoiled, and inquisitive. When they work on the secret garden, a healing process begins for the children. As the garden grows, so do each of them, growing healthier and more understanding of each other and the world around them. Mary and Colin are both children who have spent their lives inside, sheltered, shackled, and stunted. They are psychologically the same: hurt, lonely, and weak. They have been surrounded by servants all their lives, having every whim catered to, but no one has shown them love. Only their material needs have been taken care of. As the garden awakens, so do the children: “ ‘I’m growing fatter,’ said Mary, ‘and I’m growing stronger. I used to always be tired. When I dig I’m not tired at all.’ ” (Chapter 11). Both Colin and Mary begin to get stronger and happier.

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The Secret Garden

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