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Unlocking the garden: motherhood in Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden
Deborah S. Nielsen (author)Kristen Guest (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
Master of Arts (MA)
Number of pages in document: 86
This thesis explores the representation of motherhood in Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel, The Secret Garden, and seeks to complicate our understanding of motherhood by moving from the static, binary notions central to Victorian culture to motherhood as a form of positive agency. Previous scholarship centers on the debate about Mary's agency and whether this reads as either reinforcing or subverting the patriarchal norms of the Victorian period this work seeks to link questions about Mary's agency to the text's representation of motherhood as a diverse, politically-inflicted, and fluid subject position. Burnett's secret garden is the centre of the book's tensions either as a site of exclusion or as a source of power. Reading the garden as a metaphor for motherhood and drawing upon the unique associations of the garden and the role of Victorian gardening literature, I suggest that Burnett offers a model of female agency that subtly challenges patriarchal norms. --Leaf ii.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson, 1849-1924 -- Characters -- Mothers.Computer networks -- Workload.Computer networks -- Management.