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Old 11-10-2018, 04:36 PM   #16
fantasyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
One of the interesting things about this book is how it starts out so bleak (so much death!) and with a protagonist who is so unlikable. Yet, it is such a pleasure to witness the transformation, and you are cheering for the growth in the character development. So many negative words one could describe the initial Mary: self-absorbed, imperious, ugly, sickly, sour, glum, friendless, unloved, unwanted contrary.
I also found the transformation beautifully and skilfully dome. And the interaction between Mary and Colin was very effective through all the various stages of their character growth.

The psychological calamity of the death of Archibald’s wife was movingly developed in the last section of the novel.

I’ve seen a few of the film adaptation of the book—though by no means all. None that I have viewed completely capture the luminous joy of the novel. The 1949 Hollywood film with Margaret O’Brien has some success—especially by the technique of filming the secret garden scenes in technicolour and using black and white for the other parts. It does have a number of faults. The robin is replaced by a crow, probably because the American robin is a completely different bird, very shy and with a less red breast. In addition, Colin only learns to barely walk at the end of the film.

The 1993 remake with Kate Moberly is generally faithful to the novel and very well acted. Moberly, especially, is superb in the role of Mary. But still, the slower gentle magical pace of the novel is less in evidence and the subordinate characters are much less developed. Perhaps The Secret Garden is one of those tales that defy the transformation to another media.
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