Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Entry #2--Thoughts on Mary in The Secret Garden

In class today we discussed The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I was extremely surprised to hear a general feeling of dislike for this book and its main character from pretty much everyone in the class. It is exceedingly rare for me to like a book that is assigned for school (by which I mean, in almost 14 full years of going to school, I’ve liked ONE book that I’ve had to read for school, not counting picture books). So imagine my surprise when, having started this book, I liked it! It’s easy to understand, and I felt like people had made it sound much more difficult than it actually is. I went into reading it expecting nonsensical Shakespearean gibberish, only to find a story I liked, a character who actually seemed like a real person. It only figures that the one book I enjoy is the one everyone seems to despise.
I don’t personally understand what it is they dislike about Mary. She’s a perfectly lovely girl to me. She has her moments, but she’s a child. Contrary to what some of the students in our class were saying, she couldn’t just up and change her behavior, it’s all she knew! It’s so disturbing seeing so many people in class react so harshly and emotionally to Mary’s behavioral patterns. She’s just a young girl. What would they do if faced with such a child in real life? So she’s not a perfect, well-adjusted character, what, do they expect your typical child to be well-adjusted? I don’t know, maybe it’s the education major in me, but up to this point, I’ve never encountered a child I didn’t like. I’d be veeery interested in what my classmates consider examples of good characters.
It’s just sad, you know? The one time I like a book and think I can discuss it in class, it turns out I can’t, because everyone’s opinions are extraordinarily different from mine, and there’s no opportune moment to speak in the discussion. They were all so energized about Bridge to Terabithia, which I found to be a complete bore of a book. Clearly, I am just not made to participate in English classes, or have good taste in literature, or whatever it is that is wrong with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment