Tom's Midnight Garden

by Phillipa Pierce

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Can you provide an analysis of Tom's Midnight Garden?

Quick answer:

The book presents us with a relationship between past and present. Things have changed over time but the simple joy of playing in the garden remains. The book is a classic for children, offering them a glimpse into the past.

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I remember watching this many moons ago when it was first televised on children's television in England! It is such a classic story! One of the central ways of analysing this story is considering how it presents us with a relationship between past and present and what it says about the inevitability of change. Let us remember that the garden that Tom and Hatty play in, that stretches seemingly for miles, in the present has now become just a drab and dirty strip of paving where dustbins are located. Likewise, the rather grandiose home that contained so many rooms and was home to Hatty and her brothers as she grew up in the present has been converted to lots of smaller flats or appartments. With every trip back to the past, the way that things change over time is reinforced, sometimes rather brutally. However, key to note is the way that what has not changed is the simple joy and pleasure that Tom and Hatty take in playing in the garden. The book therefore points towards the way in which things inevitably change, but also the way that we as humans don't necessarily change in some of our pleasures.

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