The Secret Garden

by

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Secret Garden makes teaching easy.
Martha is a young maid at Misselthwaite Manor who is put in charge of caring for Mary when she arrives, though she's not technically a nurse or lady's maid. A local, Martha speaks in broad Yorkshire, and through her speech patterns and her love of telling stories, she introduces Mary to aspects of her new home. As the oldest of twelve children, Martha has had lots of practice caring for young children, but Mary's inability to dress herself and other moments of learned helplessness present special problems for Martha. She dedicates herself to teaching Mary how to be more self-sufficient and is successful in this endeavor. Martha is extremely kind and adores her mother, Mrs. Sowerby. She gets one day off per month, which she spends at her family's cottage, helping her mother bake and clean and care for her siblings. She and Mary form a more friendly relationship as Mary learns to do things for herself, and so Martha begins to tell Mary all about her family and life on the moor, and specifically, about her little brother Dickon. Though she initially tries to keep Colin's existence a secret, per Mr. Craven's request, when Colin and Mary finally do meet, Colin instructs Martha to facilitate Mary's visits. Martha is also the first to let slip that there's a secret locked garden somewhere on the grounds, piquing Mary’s interest.

Martha Quotes in The Secret Garden

The The Secret Garden quotes below are all either spoken by Martha or refer to Martha. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
).
Chapter 4 Quotes

Mary had never possessed an animal pet of her own and had always thought she should like no one. So she began to feel a slight interest in Dickon, and as she had never before been interested in any one but herself, it was the dawning of a healthy sentiment.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox , Dickon, Martha
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

But the big breaths of rough fresh air blown over the heather filled her lungs with something which was good for her whole thin body and whipped some red color into her cheeks and brightened her dull eyes when she did not know anything about it.

But after a few days spent almost entirely out of doors she wakened one morning knowing what it was to be hungry, and when she sat down to her breakfast she did not glance disdainfully at her porridge and push it away, but took up her spoon and began to eat it and went on eating it until her bowl was empty.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox , Martha
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

"I wonder," staring at her reflectively, "what Dickon would think of thee?"

"He wouldn't like me," said Mary in her stiff, cold little way. "No one does."

Martha looked reflective again.

"How does tha' like thysel'?" she inquired, really quite as if she were curious to know.

"Not at all—really," she answered. "But I never thought of that before."

Related Characters: Mary Lennox (speaker), Martha (speaker), Dickon
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

She walked away, slowly thinking. She had begun to like the garden just as she had begun to like the robin and Dickon and Martha's mother. She was beginning to like Martha, too. This seemed a good many people to like—when you were not used to liking.

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

"Martha," she said, "they were your wages. It was your twopence really. Thank you." She said it stiffly because she was not used to thanking people or noticing that they did things for her. "Thank you," she said, and held out her hand because she did not know what else to do.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox (speaker), Martha
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

Mary's lips pinched themselves together. She was no more used to considering other people than Colin was and she saw no reason why an ill-tempered boy should interfere with the thing she liked best. She knew nothing about the pitifulness of people who had been ill and nervous and who did not know that they could control their tempers and need not make other people ill and nervous, too.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox , Colin Craven, Martha
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Secret Garden PDF

Martha Quotes in The Secret Garden

The The Secret Garden quotes below are all either spoken by Martha or refer to Martha. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
).
Chapter 4 Quotes

Mary had never possessed an animal pet of her own and had always thought she should like no one. So she began to feel a slight interest in Dickon, and as she had never before been interested in any one but herself, it was the dawning of a healthy sentiment.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox , Dickon, Martha
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

But the big breaths of rough fresh air blown over the heather filled her lungs with something which was good for her whole thin body and whipped some red color into her cheeks and brightened her dull eyes when she did not know anything about it.

But after a few days spent almost entirely out of doors she wakened one morning knowing what it was to be hungry, and when she sat down to her breakfast she did not glance disdainfully at her porridge and push it away, but took up her spoon and began to eat it and went on eating it until her bowl was empty.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox , Martha
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

"I wonder," staring at her reflectively, "what Dickon would think of thee?"

"He wouldn't like me," said Mary in her stiff, cold little way. "No one does."

Martha looked reflective again.

"How does tha' like thysel'?" she inquired, really quite as if she were curious to know.

"Not at all—really," she answered. "But I never thought of that before."

Related Characters: Mary Lennox (speaker), Martha (speaker), Dickon
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

She walked away, slowly thinking. She had begun to like the garden just as she had begun to like the robin and Dickon and Martha's mother. She was beginning to like Martha, too. This seemed a good many people to like—when you were not used to liking.

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

"Martha," she said, "they were your wages. It was your twopence really. Thank you." She said it stiffly because she was not used to thanking people or noticing that they did things for her. "Thank you," she said, and held out her hand because she did not know what else to do.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox (speaker), Martha
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

Mary's lips pinched themselves together. She was no more used to considering other people than Colin was and she saw no reason why an ill-tempered boy should interfere with the thing she liked best. She knew nothing about the pitifulness of people who had been ill and nervous and who did not know that they could control their tempers and need not make other people ill and nervous, too.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox , Colin Craven, Martha
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis: