The Secret Garden

by

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Secret Garden can help.

The Robin Character Analysis

A young male robin that was born in a tree in the secret garden, but as a fledgling was unable to make it back to the nest. At that time, he befriended Ben Weatherstaff, and when Mary meets the robin, he seems almost tame. He sings for Ben Weatherstaff, Mary, and Dickon, and once, stands on the end of Ben Weatherstaff's gardening tool. A few days later, the robin shows Mary where the key and the door to the secret garden are, and he accompanies the children inside. Ben Weatherstaff and the children watch the robin transform from a young, boisterous, and flamboyant creature looking for a mate to a mature, protective, and harried father. He and his mate build a nest in the corner of the garden, and they allow the children to get relatively close. When the robin narrates a chapter, he notes that Dickon speaks robin language and remarks on how long it takes for human children to grow up as he watches Colin walk laps around the garden.

The Robin Quotes in The Secret Garden

The The Secret Garden quotes below are all either spoken by The Robin or refer to The Robin . 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 4 Quotes

"A bird with a red breast was sitting on one of them and he sang."

To her surprise the surly old weather-beaten face actually changed its expression. A slow smile spread over it and the gardener looked quite different. It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled. She had not thought of it before.

Related Characters: Mary Lennox (speaker), Ben Weatherstaff , The Robin
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 7 Quotes

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire The Secret Garden LitChart as a printable PDF.
The secret garden.pdf.medium

The Robin Character Timeline in The Secret Garden

The timeline below shows where the character The Robin appears in The Secret Garden. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...it's enclosing another garden, possibly with trees in it. As Mary studies the trees, a robin starts singing. It makes her feel happy, and she hopes she'll see it again. She... (full context)
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...seems surly when she mentions a garden with no door and tells him about the robin. However, at the mention of the robin, Ben starts to smile, and Mary thinks it... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Looking at the robin, Mary says that she's lonely. This has never occurred to her before, and the narrator... (full context)
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
The robin flies over the wall again, and Mary cries out. Ben Weatherstaff explains that he lives... (full context)
Chapter 5
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
As Mary studies the bushy ivy, she hears the robin singing. She greets the robin, and in reply, the robin chirps and hops around. Laughing,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
The robin comes to visit, and when he cocks his head at Mary, Mary asks Ben Weatherstaff... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
As Mary walks along the wall covered in ivy, she hears the robin in a bare flowerbed. He clearly followed her, and she happily "converses" with him. The... (full context)
Chapter 8
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
...her cheeks. Mary is thrilled. Ben encourages her to keep skipping and notes that the robin will certainly follow her again today. Mary skips off to her favorite path along the... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...heard about in her Ayah's stories. A gust of wind blows the ivy where the robin is sitting, and as it moves, Mary catches the vines, having seen a doorknob underneath... (full context)
Chapter 9
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...brown and still. Mary remarks at how still everything is and notices that even the robin, sitting in a tree, is silent. She quietly walks around the garden following the robin... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...and clears some of the grass from around them. She grows warmer and happier. The robin is thrilled that someone is caring for his garden. (full context)
Chapter 10
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...doesn't object to Mary as much anymore, though he does grumble that she's like the robin in that she approaches silently and without warning. One morning, when Mary has been at... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
Ben Weatherstaff and Mary greet the robin, who preens and sings for Ben. Ben teases the robin for acting so flirtatious, but... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
...she forgets to feel shy. They look at the seed packets until Dickon hears the robin singing. He happily says that the robin is saying he's friends with Mary and will... (full context)
Chapter 11
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...if he likes her, attempting a Yorkshire accent. He says that both he and the robin do. A while later, the clock strikes for dinner. Dickon pulls out bread and bacon,... (full context)
Chapter 15
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...she kisses them. They run all around the garden admiring the growing things. Soon, the robin flies into the garden with something in his beak. Dickon quiets Mary and tells her... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
To distract themselves from looking at the robin, Mary tells Dickon about Colin. Dickon looks surprised and then relieved that he doesn't have... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
Dickon agrees that he could push Colin's wheelchair and then points to the robin. He whistles and the robin turns towards him. Dickon reassures the robin, and it makes... (full context)
Chapter 16
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...and she and Dickon spend the afternoon working. Soot and Captain busy themselves, and the robin continues to build his nest. They rest after a while and Dickon comments that Mary... (full context)
Chapter 20
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...ivy wall, they all start to whisper. Mary points out landmarks along the way—where the robin showed her the key and where Ben Weatherstaff works—and then, she steps into the bed,... (full context)
Chapter 21
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...to look at, and Dickon pushes the wheelchair around. Dickon explains that they'll see the robin soon, when the eggs have hatched. They giggle and try to muffle the sound. (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...covered with roses. Colin notices a broken branch, but Dickon turns his attention to the robin, who has something in his beak for his mate. Later, Mary tells Dickon privately that... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...at them over the wall. He threatens to hit Mary, but Mary insists that the robin showed her into the garden. This offends Ben even more. Colin asks Dickon to wheel... (full context)
Chapter 25
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
The secret garden blooms, and soon the robin's mate lays eggs. Everyone in the garden seems to know how precious they are, though... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
The robin watches Colin eventually start to move like Dickon and Mary, which is comforting, but all... (full context)
Chapter 27
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...was filled with bad thoughts, she was ugly and yellow. As she learned about the robin and Dickon, she got better. Colin experienced the same thing; he was never going to... (full context)