The Secret Garden

by

Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Mrs. Medlock Character Analysis

A formidable woman who works for Mr. Craven. She performs a number of duties, but according to Martha, spends most of the time drinking tea in her sitting room. She dislikes Mary and children in general, so though she's supposed to check in on Mary daily, she often stretches it out and only sees Mary every other day for a minute or two. Like the other servants she tries to keep Colin's existence a secret from Mary, and she scolds Mary when she catches her wandering around the manor.

Mrs. Medlock Quotes in The Secret Garden

The The Secret Garden quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Medlock or refer to Mrs. Medlock. 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
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of The Secret Garden published in 2010.
Chapter 19 Quotes

The scene which Dr. Craven beheld when he entered his patient's room was indeed rather astonishing to him. As Mrs. Medlock opened the door he heard laughing and chattering. Colin was on his sofa in his dressing-gown and he was sitting up quite straight looking at a picture in one of the garden books and talking to the plain child who at that moment could scarcely be called plain at all because her face was so glowing with enjoyment.

Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Secret Garden LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Secret Garden PDF

Mrs. Medlock Character Timeline in The Secret Garden

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Medlock appears in The Secret Garden. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...an officer's wife and her two children. The officer's wife gladly hands Mary over to Mrs. Medlock , the stout housekeeper at Mr. Craven's Misselthwaite Manor. Mary dislikes Mrs. Medlock immediately and... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...Mary because she is so disagreeable, but Mary doesn't know this. Mary does, however, find Mrs. Medlock very disagreeable, and as they walk to the train station, she tries to look prim... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...that she doesn't care and that it doesn't matter whether she cares or not, which Mrs. Medlock agrees with. Mrs. Medlock says that Mr. Craven has a crooked back and wasn't happy... (full context)
Chapter 3
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
When Mary wakes up, she eats some of the lunch that Mrs. Medlock purchased and watches the rain stream down the windows. She falls asleep again and wakes... (full context)
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...dark. Once inside the huge entrance hall, Mary feels small and lost. Mr. Pitcher tells Mrs. Medlock to take Mary straight to her room, as Mr. Craven is going to London in... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...speaks such broad Yorkshire (the local dialect). However, the strangeness of the house means that Mrs. Medlock was willing to hire her. When Mary asks if Martha is going to wait on... (full context)
Chapter 6
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...can't sew or knit. Martha suggests she read and says that it'd be wonderful if Mrs. Medlock would let Mary into the library, but Mary has a better idea. She's not afraid... (full context)
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...She discovers that it's covering an entrance to a hallway that, at this moment, contains Mrs. Medlock . Mrs. Medlock is upset to see Mary, tells Mary that she didn't hear crying,... (full context)
Chapter 9
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...animals intriguing and wants to meet him. Martha also says that Mother plans to ask Mrs. Medlock if Mary could come to the cottage sometime. Mary feels as though everything exciting is... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Mrs. Medlock enters and tells Mary to put on her best dress and brush her hair. Martha... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...tells Mary that she can have as much earth as she wants, and then calls Mrs. Medlock to take Mary away. He tells Mrs. Medlock to feed Mary and let her run... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Mary asks what Mrs. Medlock will think if she finds out that she's here. Colin says that he's going to... (full context)
Chapter 14
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...but Mary assures her that Colin was happy to see her. Martha is convinced that Mrs. Medlock will be upset at the very least, but Mary firmly says that Colin wants to... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...curtly reminds Martha that she must do what he says, and he promises to send Mrs. Medlock away if she gets upset with Martha. Martha curtsies and leaves, and Colin notices Mary... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...they're cousins. This makes them laugh even more and as they do, Dr. Craven and Mrs. Medlock walk in. The adults look shocked, but Colin calmly introduces Mary to them and says... (full context)
Chapter 15
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...as it's still too rainy to go outside. They look at books and talk, and Mrs. Medlock even tells Mary that her presence has been good for the staff—the nurse has agreed... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...and the animals in the sunshine. It does make Colin laugh, and Mary joins him. Mrs. Medlock stops herself from entering and is astonished by the laughter she hears inside. Mary goes... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...tantrum. He usually finds Colin white and ready to set off into hysterics again, but Mrs. Medlock assures him that Colin is different today, thanks to the "plain sour-faced child" who gave... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...as forgetting makes him feel better. Dr. Craven leaves soon after and speaks briefly with Mrs. Medlock about how Mrs. Sowerby has said that it's good for Colin and Mary to know... (full context)
Chapter 20
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...Mr. Roach has never seen Colin, so he's curious to lay eyes on the boy. Mrs. Medlock tells the gardener that things are changing for the better and warns him that he'll... (full context)
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...him to cut down trees and almost laughs when he leaves the room. He and Mrs. Medlock laugh that if Colin lives and if Mary stays, he'll learn that the world isn't... (full context)
Chapter 24
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...Colin and Mary start sending their meals back, much to the confusion of the nurse, Mrs. Medlock , and Dr. Craven. (full context)
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...and choke. She later laughs with Colin about almost spoiling the secret by laughing. Meanwhile, Mrs. Medlock and the doctor wonder if there's some way for the children to get extra food.... (full context)
Chapter 27
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...door. When he arrives at Misselthwaite, the servants notice that he looks better. He summons Mrs. Medlock immediately and asks her about Colin. She explains that nobody can figure out if he's... (full context)
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...on in the secret garden, Ben Weatherstaff sits in the servants' hall drinking beer with Mrs. Medlock . Mrs. Medlock wants to know if Ben's seen Colin or Mr. Craven, but Ben... (full context)