Secret Garden Chapter 6
Learning Target Understand the literary element of symbols and analyze how symbolism is used in The Secret Garden.
Symbolism • Something that is itself but also stands for or represents something else. • The more you read and study literature, the more you will come across words that always function symbolically. • The seasons are a perfect example. • Winter represents aging, decay, and death • Spring is used to represent birth and hope. • Summer is symbolic of childhood, fun, and laughter. • Autumn stands for maturity, wisdom, fulfillment • Other typical examples include the scales to symbolize justice, a dove for peace. • Example: The sun rose the next day bringing hope.
When an author creates a new symbol. You have to study the text carefully and examine what connections there are between the action in the story and objects being used and discussed. Ask yourself how certain objects or things may have connotations behind them that might lead to a new meaning for the object. Quick analysis: What is the symbol in the sentence? What does it symbolize? Example: The sun rose the next day bringing hope.
Symbolism • In chapter 6 ivory elephants Mary found in the cabinet are a symbol for her and her life in India. • They are lifeless, cold, hard – like she is. • They are shut away in a cabinet – she was shut away while she was in India. • What are the mice a symbol of? • Write a paragraph describing your thoughts. • Include a topic sentence, supporting detail, and a concluding sentence. • Make sure to include the author and title. • Use specific phrases and words from the text to make your comparison. • Please do this on paper.
The ivory elephants Mary finds in chapter six in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, are a symbol for herself. Mary finds hundreds of ivory elephants in a cabinet. She knew what they were right away because she was familiar with elephants and their ivory while she was in India. These elephants are a clear symbol for Mary and her life in India. The carved elephants are made of ivory, so one can conclude their texture is hard and cold. Mary’s temperament is hard and cold, like the elephants. Mary was neglected by her parents and shown no love, so she does not know how to show warmth and love to others. After she was done playing with the elephants she “set them in order and shut the door of the cabinet” (57). She locked the elephants away, out of sight. This is much how Mary herself was treated in India; out of the sight of her parents. When analyzing the elephants Mary finds at Misselthwaite, readers can conclude they are a symbol of her and her life in India.