• The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables: Nature versus Nurture and Childhood Escapism

      Bertzfield, Hannah; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-03)
      This literary analysis focuses on the protagonists of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables to examine the correlation between a child’s nature, the presence of nurture within their immediate developmental environment, and the resulting tendency to use escapism as a coping mechanism. Similar to a mild form of dissociation, escapism is a means by which the adolescent consciousness protects itself against negative external stimuli that may have damaging effects on the child’s psychological state. This is especially true when the child is subjected to severe trauma or prolonged, repetitive patterns of abuse or neglect. Regardless of the environment or the child’s socioeconomic position, nurturing is a force which counteracts the effects of negative stimuli and diminishes the subconscious need to escape. However, when nurture is absent, the likelihood of a child to utilize escapism as a means of coping with their environment is wholly contingent upon the child’s nature.