Building Communtiy Through Isolation

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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Building Community Through Isolation Being alone is not always good for a person. They build longings toward being with others who will share their hopes and dreams. The film, "The Secret Garden" is an example of this. In this film, characters and places were isolated from the rest, this was an assurance that a community was soon to rise up. Spoiled, Mary Lennox, was constantly isolated from her family, as was sickly Colin Craven and a dried up, dead garden that was hidden. Through this obstacle of isolation a community was built.

Always hidden from view and kept from the outside world, was Colin Craven. A child who had spent his whole life without a mother, and abandoned. His father Lord Archibald Craven, seldom visited as Colin reminded him of his lost wife. Colin was sickly from birth. His whole life had been spent pining away, sick, on a bed.

This boy was spoiled rotten to the core, yet somehow he managed to warm up to a young girl who was his cousin. Her name was Mary Lennox. She spent days with him and "Pried out . . . a kinder lord," who had hidden. This proved to be true as Colin really was a kind child though he never realized he had the potential to be caring. Through Colin's strict isolation, he had been pampered, and someone was always there to look after his every whim. He was pampered so much that he never learned how to achieve the jovial task of walking. Being bedridden his whole life, and told he was sick daily made Colin afraid of leaving the company of his warm bed. Through Mary's persistence, Colin stopped being mean and started to believe that he had something to live for after all. The object of his happiness, was to walk in a garden that belonged to his mother, whom he had never seen. Colin was drawn into a community that was formed in a secret garden, while his community itself was a secret through the film. This community helped him to find out that he was a boy who could run and play if only he tried, and try he did. From a bedridden, spoiled brat, Colin had changed to a happy walking boy, without a care in the world. He had learned that his isolation earlier, only made him aggressive, and uncaring, when through his new found friendship, he learned to be kind.

Maggie Cullen P. 2 Change is a good thing that most of the time, which leads to happiness. A lonely garden stood on the grounds of Mistlewaith Manor. Alone, and untended it had grown wild. The door to the garden was locked and it's only visitor was a small robin. This garden had belonged to someone at one point of its existence, now, it was desolate and alone. A small girl found the key to it one day and followed the small robin. After years of solitude, the door to the secret garden was opened and a girl named Mary took it for her own. She inquired to her uncle for "The rich earth . . . was asked for," the earth of the garden. Through this she owned the secret garden, and could show it to others. She spread the secret to two others; Dicken, Mary's trusted friend and Colin, her cousin. Together they spread seeds and tamed the wildness of the garden to find a hidden place of untold beauty. In this garden Colin learned how to walk, Dicken grew to love Mary and Mary herself learned how to be happy. The Secret Garden created its own community. In this garden, children were to be found played and laughing where previously no laughter had been heard in years. Flowers grew and blossomed, animals inhabited the grounds of the garden once more and the tangled harshness had been lovingly tamed and cared for. Bleak and desolate no more the garden evolved into a place of beauty and friendship.

Kindness and pampering seemed to be common in the film "The Secret Garden." Mary Lennox was born to a rich couple who lived in India. Her mother ignored her most of Mary's life just so she could party and enjoy her wealth. This in a way, led Mary to be motherless. Ignored in every attempt to be with her own mother, Mary was isolated. Servants raised Mary, not her mother or father which had been the case with Colin Craven, her cousin in England. Mary through the servants pampering never learned how to dress herself or brush her hair. All of this changed though when an earthquake struck and killed both of Mary's parents. She was alone again. Mary was put alone upon a ship that took her to England where her uncle, Lord Craven lived. Upon the ship Mary was made fun of by the other children traveling to England. She was taunted by the same children when waiting for someone to pick her up at the dock. Life at Mistlewaith Manor was no better. In here, Mary held onto her stature that she had in India, though it helped her little. She was tossed into a world where darkness and dreary conversation seem as rare as her being waited upon. Eventually, Mary learned to be a girl who could fend for herself. During her time at the Manor, Mary befriended a robin, a boy called Dicken and her cousin Colin. Together they "spread their sails to winds unknown." They forgot about their problems and went in search of happiness. Through these friendships Mary found that there was a community built on friendship. Mary and her friends had "built houses for themselves, "before they met, and when they became friends, they dwelt not in a house, but in a garden of dreams and happiness. In this community, being spoiled was forgotten, and kindness flourished. The community that Mary created and involved herself in, changed her. The change she underwent led her to be happy and full of life.

In one hand, seclusion leads to loneliness, in the other, community leads to happiness. Life is not perfect, though often many wish it was. Through the film "The Secret Garden," a community was built on friendship. It was forged from the fire of isolation and molded by caring and the realization that life is not about being a lord or lady, but by being a friend. As people may often be lonely and afraid there is at the end of the tunnel a light that leads to community and fearlessness.