Tom’s Midnight Garden Essay

1578 words - 6 pages

Time is one of the basic components of life that one does not often stop to dwell upon. Each second marks a transition in an individual’s life, but it is rare for someone to consider the true magic of this small measure of history. In Tom’s Midnight Garden, Philippa Pearce examines the concept of time in a truly unique manner as she tells the story of a child who comes to terms with time in an extraordinary manner. As Pearce crafts this beautiful yet simply written novel, she intertwines both a moving plot and universal ideas in order to reveal more than meets the eye in terms of the power of time. The novel revolves around a young boy by the name of Tom Long who, in an adverse situation is shipped away from his home to live with his childless Uncle and Aunt for the summer. While Tom is disgruntled by the notion, he comes to adjust his views when he discovers a magical garden that opens his eyes to new experiences and feelings. With the discovery of this mysterious world in the garden, Tom is forced to decipher the power of time, companionship, and imagination and through this journey, he evolves from the childish, inconsiderate young boy he once was into one with a more mature and sensitive outlook on his own life and the world as a whole.
The novel opens with a scene of a desperate, aggravated child being sent away from his home due to a contagious disease. Tom Long’s brother Peter has been stricken with a case of the measles and to protect Tom, his parents have decided it would be best for him to spend the upcoming weeks with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen as Peter recovers. From the onset, it is obvious to the reader that Tom is extremely displeased with the notion of leaving not only his family and home, but also the one initially shocking aspect Tom will miss most of all, his family’s garden. While it may seem nonsensical to the reader, the connection between Tom and the garden is instantly noticeable as, “he looked his goodbye at the garden, and raged that he had to leave it” (Pearce 1). Tom begins to play childish games by ignoring his Mother’s goodbye wishes and shouting that he would “rather have the measles with Peter” (Pearce 3) than have to leave to the small, garden less apartment of his Uncle and Aunt. The beginning of Tom’s stay with his relatives is uncomfortable as Tom sulks about due to the fact that “the heart of the house was empty-cold-dead” (Pearce 5) in his mind, but it does not take long before Tom is drawn to the strange ticking of the old grandfather clock bolted into the hall wall. The ticking of the clock serves the one source of life and intrigue in the building for Tom as he foresees weeks of loneliness and longing for home. What Tom does not realize at this point is that the clock will be his gateway into another dimension, one in which he can fulfill his desire for companionship and where he will embark on an excursion leading to self growth and maturation.
After a few nights in the apartment, Tom...

Find Another Essay On Tom’s Midnight Garden

Sub-plots in Hamlet Essay

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet as Victim and Hero Essay

1301 words - 5 pages God's decision that suicide be a sin. Most human beings, when placed as leaders in a difficult situation, will look for ways to free themselves of their responsibility. Even Jesus Christ, the greatest being to walk the face of this earth, according to Christianity, searched for a way out as He took upon him the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane. In St. Mathew 26:39 he said, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon

2172 words - 9 pages Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O

The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine

904 words - 4 pages The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine    The stories of Oedipus, as told through Seneca's Oedipus and Cocteau's The Infernal Machine, contain both similarites and differences. Both authors portray the character of Oedipus as being obstinate, ignorant, and inquisitive. Yet Seneca and Cocteau differ on their interpretation of the motives that propelled these characteristics of Oedipus. Seneca portrays Oedipus as a

Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3121 words - 12 pages        An increasing amount of contemporary literature traces its origins back to the early works of Greece. For ages, humans have fascinated themselves with the impossible notion of perfection. Unrealistic expectations placed on those who were thought to be the noblest or most honorable individuals have repeatedly led to disappointment and frustration, either on the part of those particular individuals or those they influence. Classic

Sophocles' Antigone - Antigone Must Challenge Creon

889 words - 4 pages Antigone Must Challenge Creon in Antigone   In his "Funeral Oration" Pericles, Athens's leader in their war with other city-states, rallies the patriotism of his people by reminding them of the things they value. He encourages a sense of duty to Athens even to the point of self-sacrifice. He glorifies the free and democratic Athenian way of life and extravagantly praises those willing to die for it. In Antigone, Creon, Thebes's leader in

The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad

796 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad Homer’s Iliad is undoubtedly focused on its male characters: Achilles, primarily, but also Hector and Agamemnon. Nevertheless, it seems that the most crucial characters in the epic are female. Homer uses the characters of Thetis, Andromache, and Helen as a basis for comparison to the male characters. Homer wants his audience to see and understand the folly of his male characters in choosing war over peace

Similar Essays

Tom's Midnight Garden By Philippa Pearce

2515 words - 10 pages This essay is about Tom’s Midnight Garden a book written by Philippa Pearce. The story is about a lonely boy’s adventure in an enchanted garden, who finds a new playmate in Hattie and who shares in the adventure with him. It is also about “Tom’s development of the conscious state in childhood as he becomes aware of complex emphatic feelings and more diverse states of mind which comes about through his desperate need for freedom.” (Natov: 2009

What Makes A Successful Children's Book?

2593 words - 10 pages that popularity amongst children is the most important factor in encouraging a lifelong love of reading, then Blyton has done her job exceptionally well. Works Cited Pullman, P. (1995) Northern Lights. London, Scholastic. Pearce, P. (2008 [1958]) Tom’s Midnight Garden. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Kidd, K. (2009) ‘Prizes! Prizes! Newbery Gold’, in Maybin, J. and Watson, N. J. (eds) Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1331 words - 5 pages might ensue after the events, and stays free of responsibility. Nick, Gatsby’s neighbor describes the wild parties that go on at Gatsby’s house: On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and

Reality And Illusion In Shakespeare's Hamlet Reality, Appearance And Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the