The following sample essay is about Francis Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden. To read the introduction, body, and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
She chirped, and talked, and coaxed and he hopped, and 2 Flirted his tail and twittered. It was as if he were talking. His red 3 Wasitcoat was like satin and he puffed his tiny breast out and 4 Was so fine and so grand and so pretty that it was really as if he 5 Were showing her how important and like a human person a 6 Robin could be.
Mistress Mary forgot that she had ever been 7 contrary in her life when he allowed her to draw closer and 8 closer to him, and bend down and talk and try to make some 9 thing like robin sounds. 10 Oh! To think that he should actually let her come as near to 11 him as that!
He knew nothing in the world would make her 12 put out her hand toward him or startle him in the least tiniest 13 way.
He knew it because he was a real person-only nicer than 14 any other person in the world. She was so happy that she 1 5 scarcely dared to breathe. 16 The flower-bed was not quite bare. It was bare of flowers because 17 Perennial plants had been cut down for their winter 18 Rest, but there were tall shrubs and low ones which grew together 19 At the back f the bed, and as the robin hopped about 20 Under them she saw him hop over a small pile of freshly turned 21 Up earth.
He stopped on it to look for a worm. The earth had 22 Been turned up because a dog had been trying to dig up a mole 23 And he had scratched quite a deep hole. Lines 1-2: Burnett creates a happy and busy moment in these two lines by using six OITTerent veros. Mary “cnlrpea, ana talked, ana coaxed” wnlle tne roDln “noppea ana flirted and twittered. ” This passage has a poetic and lighthearted sound to it, which s exactly how Mary is feeling at the moment. Burnett then describes the robin’s actions to be as though he were talking.
Mary is eager to make friends and have conversations, so it makes sense that the robin is personified. Lines 3-5: This personification is developed further when Burnett describes the robin’s feathers to be a “waistcoat like satin” which gives the reader a visual image of a tuxedo that a man would wear. Burnett continues to use repetition, but this time using adjectives when she writes “so fine and so grand and so pretty. ” This literary echnique tells the reader how excited Mary is about the bird.
After giving vague personifications of the robin, Burnett finally explicitly says that it is as though the robin was showing her how “like a human person” it could be. Lines 6-9: This is one of the first times we see Mary become a new girl, one that is not contrary and is excited and intrigued by something. Burnett creates a separation of her nickname, taking off the “quite contrary’ that typically follows “Mistress Mary. ” Mary is not used to anyone being interested in her and the fact that the robin allows er to “bend down and talk and try to make something like robin sounds,” she is completely beside herself.
Lines 10-12: Burnett uses the exclamation, “Oh! ” to communicate Just how rare of a moment this is for Mary. By writing, “To think,” she insinuates that Mary had never experienced or expected to experience this kind of acceptance from anyone, not even a bird. Burnett begins to write in the point of view of the robin when she says, “He knew nothing in the world would make her put out her hand… ” This allows the eader to be able to see the bird as a human, Just like Mary does.
Lines 13-15: Burnett goes on to qualify the robin as completely human. She writes, “he was a real person-only nicer than any other person in the world. ” We as readers know that there are many other people in the world who are that nice, and much nicer. But Mary has not met many people who are kind to her, and this is proof. Mary is so happy that she “scarcely dared to breathe. ” This statement is a great descriptor of the situation because her happiness is so extreme that it has affected er physically.
Lines 16-20: Burnett transitions the scene to the flower-bed where a key scene occurs- this is where Mary finds the key to the secret garden. Burnett describes the garden as currently bare for the most part because of winter, which is foreshadowing the spring to come and new growth to occur (in the garden as well as in Mary). The robin stops on a pile of freshly turned up earth, thus leading Mary to notice that a dog had “scratched quite a deep hole. ” Befriending the robin not only gave Mary a companion, but it also led her to the key.