‘‘Pretty maids all in a row”: power and the female child in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s

‘‘Pretty maids all in a row”: power and the female child in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s "The Secret Garden"
‘‘Pretty maids all in a row”: power and the female child in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s "The Secret Garden"

Author(s): Debbie Lelekis
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: prose fiction; Frances Hodgson Burnett; exploratory fiction; patriarchy; feminism; gender roles

Summary/Abstract: This article explores Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (1911) as a ‘‘hybrid” text and an example of ‘‘exploratory fiction.” Of primary interest is the parallel between Mary’s growth and the garden’s rehabilitation. Through Mary Lennox, arguably Burnett’s most complex fictional child, the novel challenges traditional patriarchal values with a depiction of female-based power dynamics. The novel makes a significant contribution to the shift in the way the female and the child was stereotypically portrayed in literature before the twentieth century.

  • Issue Year: 23/2014
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 63-71
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English