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, 223) Furthermore how time works and relates to the storyline.

Tom Long is forced as he feels into exile away from his home, his family and playmate, Peter, his brother, who is in quarantine as he is infected with measles. So Tom is sent to his Uncle Alan’s and Aunt Gwen’s home. He views the stay with misgivings because they have no children that he can play with or even a garden as they live in a flat, which is part of an old manor house turned into flats. Which is owned by a reclusive old lady called Mrs. Bartholomew.

Tom notices a grandfather clock which chimes loudly and that his uncle Alan complains clangs the incorrect time of thirteen O’ clock. His Aunt shows him around the flat and proudly shows him his room, when he sees the window he says, “That windows got bars on I am not a baby!” (Pearce, 1993, p). One night, Tom, lay sleepless. He heard the sound of the clock strike so Tom goes to check the correct time; he leaves the flat to look at the clock in the hallway downstairs. It was midnight, but Tom had counted thirteen. Meanwhile he thinks he will investigate his surroundings, he goes to open the back door. He pulls the big bolt; he opens the door and is amazed to see a beautiful garden in front of him.

Next day when he enquires about the garden, Tom is told that he is not allowed in the back yard, it is just where the bins are kept and there is no garden. But, at night, Tom finds the garden again and he becomes a regular visitor. He has fun exploring the enormous garden meeting a girl named Hattie with her cousins. The amazing thing is only Hattie and Abel; an estate gardener can see Tom. Every day the seasons change in the garden. Unnoticed by him, Hattie starts to grow up and Tom learns how time is different in the garden than his normal days spent in the flat.

At the same time, Peter recovers and he longs for Tom seeming ‘almost to be like twins’ in there closeness. Rustin (2009). So their mother calls Tom back. Tom is reluctant to go back but he is obliged to. On the last night, when Tom goes to the back door, desperate to see the garden and Hattie one more time, but he does not find the garden. So he cries out loudly for Hattie, his friend. This awakens everybody in the house. Next day, Mrs Bartholomew calls on Tom and invites him to tea where she tells him that her name is Hattie and that she changed her name when she married Barty, Mr Bartholomew. They were very happy to meet each other again. Finally they can both of them reminisce about playing in the garden, Hattie...

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