The Gardener

Lesson 21

The Gardener: Rudyard Kipling

 

Summary

 

“The Gardner" presents Kipling's anger for the shallowness of society, which is against Human feeling and individual desire. Kipling shows deep respect towards individual feelings. Major character Helen Turrell is compelled to hide the bitter reality of her life. She lies about her own son to save herself from the social scandal. She goes to France to give birth a baby. Later she makes a net to continue people that Michael was her brother's son and mother was unable to look after the baby, so, she took responsibility. She has done sin by giving birth to a son without during marriage. At the end of the story, gardener reveals the truth, who might be her lover or Christ in the form of gardener.

 

Miss Helen has informed the people that her brother George Turrell had died by falling from a horse, while he was working as an inspector of Indian police. His girlfriend had given birth a child but was unable to rear up. So, Helen took responsibility to look after the baby. She staged thus all while she was visiting Southern France for her lung’s treatment. Baby was christened under the name of Michael. He was physically similar to Durrell family. Michael was allowed to call Helen mommy only at bed time. While reading in prep school, he was Humiliated as he was a child of unmarried parents But, he knew that many great persons parents were unmarried. Helen give good love and care to Michael

 

Instead of going to Oxford for higher study, Michael joined army as it was in his family. Helen was worried but he was safe in England. One morning in Somme, bomb dropped and killed him. His dead body was lost, so, Helen wrote many letters to various officials but dead body was unknown. One day Helen got an official paper with a letter, a silver identity-disc and catch. It was given that Lieutenant Michale was buried in Hagenzeele Third Military Cemetery. Grave and row number were also written in paper. Helen started her journey to Hagenzeele by train. She met an English woman Mrs. Scarsworth during the trip and stayed in the same hotel. Mrs Scarsworth was regularly going there for her relatives and had many photographs of graves. She disclosed the reality that she was tired of lying for more than six years. Actually, she was going to see her lover's grave.

 

Next morning Helen went to the graveyard. There were thousands of black crosses. Somewhere far she small line of whiteness. There was a gardener planting flowers. She asked him that she was looking a grave of her nephew Michael Turrell. The man lifted his eyes and looked at her with great compassion. He asked her to follow to see her sons grave. While returning back, Helen star the gardener bending over his young plants.




Short Answer Questions

 

1. What is the real relation between Helen and Michael? [5]

 

2060 Q.No.5d and 2074 Supp Q.No.5d

 

Though it is difficult to say what the real relationship between Michael and Helen Turrell is, we happen to believe in the identity given by Gardener that Michael is Helen's son. Helen Turrell said that her brother George Turrell had a relationship with the daughter of retired non-commissioned police officer. She also said that before George Terrell's death, George gave birth to a child, later on George died falling from a horse. According to Helen, she went to French because of her lung problem and there she managed to bring the child from India. Her parents and brother were not alive to know the truth. She also said that Michaels mother said nothing for child. At the graveyard, also, she said the gardener Michael was her son. In fact, what she said to the villagers was false. She might have created this false story to keep the villagers silent Otherwise, she would be condemned in the society. To tell the truth, she was unmarried. So, she hid the real fact. In fact, Helen and Michael were mother and son She told all these lies so that she would not be condemned in the society.



2. Why does not Helen expose that Michael is her son? Explain briefly [5]

 

 2067 Q.No.5e Partial, 2068 Q.No.5b and 2073 Supp Q.No.5d

 

The whole story, The Gardener is about the organized society's shallowness. The protagonist of the story, Helen Turrell is the victim of these social types. She told the lie that George was Inspector of Indian police and was entangled with the daughters of a retired non-commissioned officer. Everybody in the village knew this. But he died of a fall from a horse At that time Helen was pregnant though she was unmarried. So, she went to south of France, away from her village and gave birth to Michael Helen was compelled to tell these dies because she was unmarried and her child was illegal. If she had told the truth she wouldn't have been able to live in her village. People look with contempt to an unmarried mother. It is a crime in the eyes of society seven to have sex before marriage So to be safe from the society and to saver her reputation as well as her family dignity she told the lie that Michael was her nephew.




3. How do you know who the gardener really is? (5)

 

2071 Set A Q.No.5c, 2072 Set D Q.No.5d, 2072 Set C Q.No.5d and 2074 set A Q.No.4c

 

Gardener of the story. The Gardener" is can be anyone who has got compassion and love. Though little is mentioned in the story about him, he is so crucial figure. In the story he appears only once in the cemetery to help Helen Turrell, Michael's aunt. He appears by the side of the black crosses and talks with Helen. When she says she has been looking for the grave of her nephew Michael Turrell, the gardener says he knows where his body is lying. This makes total reversal in the story. One whose tiny presence makes a lot can't be a common man. He must be a divine power who manifests at the time of suffering Not only that he wants the audiences know about Helen's real identity. The gardener's real picture comes to form when he helps Helen and tells us the truth. We get convinced to take him as the image of god, Perhaps Jesus Christ. But whoever is he, he is not a common man. He is a man of compassion and love.



4. Describe, briefly, the ending of the story "The Gardener".

 

2072 Partial A Q.No.5d

 

The ending of the story changes the total understanding of the story proving Helen's reality. All her lies come to form. After she receives the telegram of Michael's death, she sets for the grave yard. She reaches there crossing the channels. She walked alone towards the grave. As she was searching at the meantime, she saw a man knelt behind a line of headstones evidently a gardener He did not introduce with her neither did he salute her. He asked her who she was looking for. She said it was Lieutenant Michael Turrell, her nephew. He had finite compassion in his expression and eyes. He said he would show her where her son lay. She went away, supposing him to be the gardener when she left the cemetery. The ending took us to the mysterious presence of the gardener in the graveyard reminds readers of Jesus Christ and makes them feel that it was him. His words induce the readers for the second reading and help them find out that a great deal of information about Michael was supplied by Helen for which there was no evidence Her so-called visit to France, death of her brother with a son being born in India, her deep attachment with Michael and above all, her attempts to over-expose their relation throw the light on the hidden aspect of the story. In the end, readers find Helen emerging as another Madonna, the mother of Jesus Christ.



5. What mystery does the story The Gardener tell you? [5]

 

2070 Partial Q.No.5c, 2071 Set D Q.No.5c and 2071 SUPP Q.NO.5b

 

Rudyard Kipling's story. The Gardener is a story of mystery. The mystery that we find in the story is that we know quite late that Michaelis Helen's own son but not the nephew We knew that Helen told a lie in the story. At the beginning of the story we come to believe that Michael is her nephew. The story describes the nature and behavior of Helen's brother George to be little naughty and troublesome. George was Inspector of Indian police and was entangled with the daughters of a retired non-commissioned officer. Everybody in the village knew this. But he died of a fall from a horse that time Helen was pregnant though she was unmarried So she went to south of France, away from her village and gave birth to Michael But when she returned back she told the villages that Michael was her nephew Everybody believed her because George was in affair with a girl. But later on, we know the mystery that Michael is her Son from her Illicit relations. It was her simple pretension that she has the health problem and that she has gone in

France for the treatment. Actually, she has been there to give birth to her son Michael. This all we know when Gardener says that Michaelis Helen's son.


6. What was the effect of Michael's death on Helen? [5]

 

2059 Q.No.5d

 

Michael's death had the great effect on Helen. She was quite hopeful that she would see him alive when she read the first telegraph of his disappearance. She was even tensed when he joined the army and was sent in the war Her frequent consult with the government agencies made her father impatient. When she finally knew that he was killed in the war, she was shocked Helen was eager to know more about Michael's death who had become a soldier. First, he was sent to England but later on he was sent to Somme. One day a shell-splinter dropped and killed Michael Helen becomes so sad when she heard the news about Michael's death. She wrote many letters too many people and offices to find Michael's death. The war stopped but she didn't take any interest in the war. She sat on various relief committees. One day she got an official letter and there was news of Lieutenant Michael Turrel. She knew that Michael's dead body was in Hagenzeele Hagenzeele was the - third military cemetery. Finally, she goes to Hagenzeele to see Michael's grave.



Long Answer Questions

 

7. Why does Helen Turrell feel uneasy to call Michael her son openly as other mothers do? What could be the truth behind not being able to call him her son during the day? [10]

 

2057 Q.No.4c, 2070 Set C Q.No.4c, 2075 Set B Q.No.4b, 2075 GIE Q.No.4c and 2076 Set Q.No.4c

 

This story is written by Rudyard Kipling. In this story, the writer has shown his bitter view of the world by portraying such the character who is the victim of the shallowness of the organized society. Helen Turrell, the protagonist conceals the truth about Michael till the end of the story but she does not show any reaction when the gardener confidently says he will tell where her son lies The villagers of Hampshire believe Michael to be an unfortunate son of Helen's late brother, George Turrell and his beloved (not wife) Actually it was not so. She had created a false story about Michael's parents. Why then? Ashamed of him? Afraid of the society?

 

I don't think that Helen is ashamed that Michael was her son. Then the question comes why did tell le to his neighbor. She told a lie that the Michael was not her son. He was the son of George Turrell who was an inspector of Indian police, died on falling from a horse. Actually, she was the mother of the child. She told many lies to escape from the scandals of society She had gone to France to bear the child but she told the society that she had gone their due to her lung problems. She planned to receive her brother chi from India. The society had believed about it. Shepersuaded Michael to call her Auntie Michael kopta the secrets to her. When Michael finished his public school, he joined in the army. In one morning, a sha splinter dropped and killed Michael Helen was shocked from his deaths She found that the dead body of the Michael was buried in the Hagenzeet third military cemetery. But this she did by compulsion not by her own will.

 

Helen was the woman living in the 20th century Europe. She was conditioned by the society. Helen had some social shallowness to follow. Thus, she told this lie. She had to live in the sane society which she can't do by revealing the fact that Michael's father is not recognized and that he is her son. Thus, she told a lie. She was neither ashamed of her son nor was ashamed of her relation, what she was ashamed of was all for herself. Thus, Helen was not ashamed to say that Michael is her son, she was but afraid of the society.



8. What does infinite compassion mean? Who can have infinite compassion? How does he know the relation between Helen Turrell and Michael Turrell? (10]

 

2076 Set C Q.No.4b

 

The Gardener" is a short story written by Rudyard Kipling. In the story the gardener develops infinite compassion. It refers to the sympathy and kindness because someone needs a help in the story, Helen Turrell suffers a lot because of society. She doesn't find herself comfortable to open the reality. She lives with the lies. When Michael is found dead and she knows that his dead body is kept in the Hagenzile Graveyard, she goes to see his grave. But she doesn't find the grave of Michael. Thus, she suffers. At this time, gardener displays the infinite compassion and helps her by showing the grave of her son

 

This sort of compassion can have with the God only So the gardener may be the Christ. He replaces the very word nephew with son. This means he knows everything about the lies. By seeing her suffering the gardener with love tells the truth. So, he can be the supreme power who has a big heart for the ones who really need help

 

Since we accepted that he is almighty god, he knows the real relation between Michael and Helen. Actually, Helen says that she has been looking for the grave of her nephew. She is afraid of the society. But gardener replaces the very word Nephew with 'son. This means, he is God to know everything about our relation. We can hide the truth from ourselves but not from the god




9. Give a summary of The Gardener. [10]

 

2076 Partial D Q.No.4b

 

The Gardner presents Kipling's anger for the shallowness of society, which is against human feeling and individual desire. Kipling shows deep respect towards individual feelings. Major character Helen Turrell is compelled to hide the bitter reality of her life She lies about her own son to save herself from the social scandal, she goes to France to give birth a baby. Later she makes a net to convince people that Michael was her brother's son and mother was unable to look after the baby, so she took responsibility. She has done sin by giving birth to a son without having marriage. At the end of the story, gardener reveals the truth, who might be her lover or Christ in the form of gardener.

 

Miss Helen has informed the people that her brother George Turrell had died by falling from a horse while he was working as an inspector of Indian police His girlfriend had given birth a child but was unable to rear up. So, Helen took responsibility to look after the baby. She managed this all while she was visiting Southern France for her lung’s treatment. Baby was christened under the name of Michael. He was physically similar to Turrell family. Michael was allowed to call Helen mummy only al bed lime. While reading in prep school, he was humiliated as he was a child of unmarried parents. But he knew that many great persons parents were unmarried Helen gave good love and care to Michael.

 

Instead of going to Oxford for higher study, Michael joined army as it was in his family. Helen was worried but he was safe in England. One morning in Somme bomb dropped and killed him. His dead body was lost, so, Helen wrote many letters to various officials but dead body was unknown. One day Helen got an official paper with a letter, a silver identity-disc and a watch it was given that Lieutenant Michael was buried in Hagenzeele Third Military Cemetery. Grave and row number were also written in paper, Helen started her journey to Hagenzeele by train. She met an English woman Mrs. Scarsworth during the trip and stayed in the same hotel, Mrs Scarsworth was regularly going there for her relatives and had many photographs of graves. She discloses the reality that she was tired of lying for more than six years. Actually, she was going to see her lover’s grave.

 

Next morning Helen went to the graveyard. There were thousands of black crosses. Somewhere far she saw a line of whiteness There was a gardener planting flowers. She asked him that she was looking a grave of her nephew Michael Turrell. The man lifted his eyes and looked at her with great compassion He asked her to follow to see her son's grave. While returning back, Helen saw the gardener bending over his young plants.



10. Sketch the Character of Helen Turrell. Does she suffer in the story? Explain. [10]

 

2065 Q.No.4a, 2069 Q.No.4c and 2072 Supp Q.No.4c

 

Helen Turrell is the protagonist of Rudyard Kipling's story, "The Gardener”. The whole story moves round her She is the one who tells her story in such a way that the audiences might fully believe her life in France, however it discloses at the end She has a brother, a very male family and Michael, who she calls nephew. Helen Turrell thirty-five and independent dominates the whole plot of the story Helen is Rudyard Kipling's portrayal through which he 5coms the society of his time in this sense, Helen Turrell has become a character to expose the realities of the organized society and its shallowness of the feeling To be more precise Helen is the victim of the society. hence is forced to tell the lie. She couldn’t live a tree life Helen suffers in the story because of the assumptions that an unmarried woman can't beget and keep an affair with someone. She makes up a story but fails to make it. She is the character of insight and tact but appears to be failure. It goes like this:

 

Helen explains all the details involving her nephew, Michael, to her friends in the village because graves. She disclosed the reality that she was tired of scandals are only increased by hushing them up. A thirty-five years independent young woman, Turrell fell in love with a young man of lower status than her and became pregnant. Frightened with criticism of society. she made a false story that her brother George Turrell had a relationship with the daughter of retired noncommissioned police officer. She also says that before George Terrell's death George gave birth to a child, later on George died falling from a horse. According to Helen, she goes to France because of her lung problem and there she manages to bring the child from India. Her parents and brother are not alive to know the truth. She also says that Michael's mother said nothing for child She convinced Michael to say her auntie at the graveyard the gardener also said Michael was her son. In fact, what she said to the villagers was false She might have created this false story to keep her villagers silent otherwise, she would be condemned in the society. To tell the truth, she was unmarried. So, she hid the real fact. In fact, Helen and Michael were mother and son. She told all these lies so that she would not be condemned in the society She was victim of emotion and tear of social condemnation

 

Helen Turrell appears to a conditioned character These conditions are set by the society which she has 10 follows as the convictions. In this sense, she is a realistic story, drawn from the society of our time We have many Helens in our societies who make Icing an art of their living. We can see her other way around too Helen happens to struggle with the social conviction but she doesn't appear to be revolutionary What we call her then is an escapist She tries to escape the society. We could indeed admire Helen had she struggled against the social stigmas. But on the other hand, we need to understand her as the victim, the society is such strong that she couldn't do anything against t. Kipling has portrayed her thus a character of respect. We admire the depth of feeling and the purity of her feelings. Through her we hear the biter world being spoken Yes. Helen suffers in the story a lot We find her suffering from the very beginning. She has to tell a lie to the people. She leaves her place and goes in France to bore a baby Similarly, Michael when is worried about his identity she asks him to call mummy only at bed time. Both Michael and Helen come to a conflict. She suffers when Michael opts military service When Michael disappears, she suffers too and writes frequently to the agencies When she is assured of his death Helen goes to see his dead body in the graveyard. On the way the graveyard she suffers. She suffers in the graveyard too when she doesn't find Michael's dead body.



11. How does Kipling in "The Gardener describe the contemporary society?

 

2069 Partial Q.No.4b

 

Rudyard Kipling's powerful story The Gardener describes the contemporary society. The story criticism of the society Kipling believes in the open society where the individual feelings given spaces. He has a great respect and space in his heart for pure individual feelings Kipling presents unmarried mother in the story and gives her feelings great respect. He shows by presenting gardener who has compassion and love to the feelings of the protagonist, Helen Turrell.

 

Helen is the women of the contemporary time. Through her statement we read and understand the society. The so-called organized society doesn't respect the individual feelings Such Society criticized by the writer in the story. It talks about the shallowness of the society. Helen in the story is being made victim of the society. She has her individual life which she can't live with free and fair environment She abandons the society in which she lives and gives birth to a child in France She can't give love and care to her own child neither can she disclose her identity with him. Frustrated Michael has to lose his life in war. In addition to this, Helen can't mourn his death openly. The story talks about such orthodox society which has not any respect to the individual feelings This story thus mocks at the stupidity of the so called organized Society.

 

The contemporary society of Kipling is organized He is fade of the rules and structures it makes It is never open to the individual that doesn't follow the rules set by the society. In the type of the society described in the story an unmarried mother can't keep the baby She is an outcast. The society of Kipling is not open for the ones who have the sexual relations before marriage. The honor and prestige got by the married mother is not got by the unmarried one. The society is bias. This Kipling shows by talking about the woman of his society called Helen who leaves her society to give birth to a child She can't call her own son a son and a son can't be happy with his illegal identity.

 

Thus whole story. The Gardener about the contemporary social stigmas and taboos The story presents Kipling's scorn of organized society's shallowness of feeling and his conviction of the dead and purity of individual feelings Kipling makes the surprise ending of the story perfectly functional for his formidably bitter view of the world.

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