How is the concept of belonging shown in The Secret Garden?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the idea of belonging is most evident in the development, nurturing, and sharing of the garden, itself.  Nature is shown to be a realm where individuals are able to shed their own notion of self and embrace something larger than the subjectivity of the individual.  The garden is shown to be a realm where Mary can overcome her own pain and her own condition of being dependent.  The reverence that she has for nature and the therapeutic powers it possesses enables her to enable Colin to belong and move him from his own sense of self- indulgence.  It is also the garden that reunites Colin and his own father, feeding the sense of belonging.  The class divisions that are evident in the stratified world of the time period are overcome in the garden, where the kids are able to enjoy the natural setting, take part in races and activities where all belong with a relative equal sense.  In this light, nature and the garden are shown to be transformative elements that enable belonging and collective unity to happen on a larger level, something that are not as evident in the modern setting.  It is through nature and the love inspired by it where belonging is most evident in the narrative.

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The Secret Garden

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