white people are the worst

The Secret Garden

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Welcome to the March edition of Novel Ideas, featuring The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In this episode we talk about the genre of the children’s novel, colonialism, subversions, and–need I say it?–feminism. We also discuss why Colin is kind of a dick, plot related illnesses, failed attempts at comic relief, and children’s dialogue. Gabs even did some research about the background of this novel. I know, try not to lose faith in us. We hope by the time you get to the end of this one, you’ve learned the secret behind the magic.

The music bump is Don Byron’s version of “The Royal Garden Blues.”

103 – The Secret Garden – Dickon Around the Garden

Our ratings:

An easy classic and an early entry in the non-religious children’s book canon, it’s probably worth your time.

Ben: 7/10. Isn’t bad, definitely won’t change your life. Another classic that is easy to discuss.

Gabs: 8/10. Minus 2 points for Colin.

The Crucible

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After a bit of a hiatus, Novel Ideas returns with a classic American play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. (Ben here: My apologies for our absence, but I’ve been studying for my oral exam for my master’s degree. Now that I’ve finished that off, we should be back on schedule, more or less. More on that in a moment.) This is a pretty well known work that gets performed frequently and is a regular presence in school curricula. In this episode we cover the parallels between this play and McCarthyism, a variety of unlikeable characters, and the psychology of a witch hunt. We also cover elements of feminism (of course!), old people who are also badasses, and why white people are, generally speaking, the worst.

The music bump today is “Witch Hunt” by Rush, which is actually yet another use of witch hunts as a metaphor. Look up the song lyrics if you don’t believe me.

32- The Crucible – Bitches Be Trippin’

A quick administrative note: We will be posting a special holiday bonus episode next week, though we’re not sure which day just yet. The following Tuesday, January 1, we’ll be taking off before resuming our usual weekly schedule of a new post (mostly) every Tuesday.