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Chapter XXII: "like a man"

[ Edited ]
What do you think of Margaret's behavior here?

'The soldiers will be here directly, and that will bring them to reason.'

'To reason!' said Margaret, quickly. 'What kind of reason?'

'The only reason that does with men that make themselves into wild beasts. By heaven! they've turned to the mill-door!'

'Mr. Thornton,' said Margaret, shaking all over with her passion, 'go down this instant, if you are not a coward. Go down and face them like a man. Save these poor strangers, whom you have decoyed here. Speak to your workmen as if they were human beings. Speak to them kindly. Don't let the soldiers come in and cut down poor-creatures who are driven mad. I see one there who is. If you have any courage or noble quality in you, go out and speak to them, man to man.'

He turned and looked at her while she spoke. A dark cloud came over his face while he listened. He set his teeth as he heard her words.

'I will go. Perhaps I may ask you to accompany me downstairs, and bar the door behind me; my mother and sister will need that protection.'

'Oh! Mr. Thornton! I do not know--I may be wrong--only--'

But he was gone; he was downstairs in the hall; he had unbarred the front door; all she could do, was to follow him quickly, and fasten it behind him, and clamber up the stairs again with a sick heart and a dizzy head.

Message Edited by pmath on 01-11-200701:03 PM

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Chapter XXII: "no woman to shield me"

I love this passage, too:

She only thought how she could save him. She threw her arms around him; she made her body into a shield from the fierce people beyond. Still, with his arms folded, he shook her off.

'Go away,' said he, in his deep voice. 'This is no place for you.'

'It is!' said she. 'You did not see what I saw.' If she thought her sex would be a protection,--if, with shrinking eyes she had turned away from the terrible anger of these men, in any hope that ere she looked again they would have paused and reflected, and slunk away, and vanished,--she was wrong. Their reckless passion had carried them too far to stop--at least had carried some of them too far; for it is always the savage lads, with their love of cruel excitement, who head the riot--reckless to what bloodshed it may lead. A clog whizzed through the air. Margaret's fascinated eyes watched its progress; it missed its aim, and she turned sick with affright, but changed not her position, only hid her face on Mr. Thornton s arm. Then she turned and spoke again:'

'For God's sake! do not damage your cause by this violence. You do not know what you are doing.' She strove to make her words distinct.

A sharp pebble flew by her, grazing forehead and cheek, and drawing a blinding sheet of light before her eyes. She lay like one dead on Mr. Thornton's shoulder. Then he unfolded his arms, and held her encircled in one for an instant:

'You do well!' said he. 'You come to oust the innocent stranger. You fall--you hundreds--on one man; and when a woman comes before you, to ask you for your own sakes to be reasonable creatures, your cowardly wrath falls upon her! You do well!' They were silent while he spoke. They were watching, open-eyed and open-mouthed, the thread of dark-red blood which wakened them up from their trance of passion. Those nearest the gate stole out ashamed; there was a movement through all the crowd--a retreating movement. Only one voice cried out:

'Th' stone were meant for thee; but thou wert sheltered behind a woman!'

Mr. Thornton quivered with rage. The blood-flowing had made Margaret conscious--dimly, vaguely conscious. He placed her gently on the door-step, her head leaning against the frame.

'Can you rest there?' he asked. But without waiting for her answer, he went slowly down the steps right into the middle of the crowd. 'Now kill me, if it is your brutal will. There is no woman to shield me here. You may beat me to death--you will never move me from what I have determined upon--not you!' He stood amongst them, with his arms folded, in precisely the same attitude as he had been in on the steps.
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Re: Chapter XXII: "like a man"

I thought Margaret's actions were impetuous and imperious. She impugned his honor "'go down this instant, if you are not a coward. Go down and face them like a man." Her accusations against him hurt his pride and were the trigger to go down and face the strikers. She goaded him by attacking is pride and manhood. It shows that she looks down on him; and...yet, she then goes down to "protect" him. Very curious behavior.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Chapter XXII: Imp

I love the alliteration, Liz! Poor John.


LizzieAnn wrote:
I thought Margaret's actions were impetuous and imperious. She impugned his honor...

pmath wrote:
What do you think of Margaret's behavior here?

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Chapter XXIV: A Sensitive Male

This is an unusually modern depiction of a man:

'... I have never loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.'

'I am not afraid,' she replied, lifting herself straight up. 'No one yet has ever dared to be impertinent to me, and no one ever shall. But, Mr. Thornton, you have been very kind to my father,' said she, changing her whole tone and bearing to a most womanly softness. 'Don't let us go on making each other angry. Pray don't!' He took no notice of her words: he occupied himself in smoothing the nap of his hat with his coat-sleeve, for half a minute or so; and then, rejecting her offered hand, and making as if he did not see her grave look of regret, he turned abruptly away, and left the room. Margaret caught one glance at his face before he went.

When he was gone, she thought she had seen the gleam of washed tears in his eyes; and that turned her proud dislike into something different and kinder, if nearly as painful--self-reproach for having caused such mortification to any one.
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Chapter XXV: "some great power"

[ Edited ]
What exactly is going on here?!

...the clear conviction dawned upon her, shined bright upon her, that he did love her; that he had loved her; that he would love her. And she shrank and shuddered as under the fascination of some great power, repugnant to her whole previous life. She crept away, and hid from his idea. But it was of no use. To parody a line out of Fairfax's Tasso--

'His strong idea wandered through her thought.'

She disliked him the more for having mastered her inner will.

Message Edited by pmath on 01-17-200702:36 PM

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Re: Chapter XV: "some great power"

Because she so dislikes him and was so embarrassed by the assumption that she was in love with him, she's exceedlingly angry with him for just not accepting her refusal and dislike of him. She's insulted that this man - whom she feels is not a gentlemen and is beneath her notice - should be bold enough to love her.

I also think she's frightened of the depth of John's emotion - his passion, his continuing love. He's disturbed her inner peace. His declaration was much more emotional than Henry's, and this has made a deep impression on her.



pmath wrote:
What exactly is going on here?!

...the clear conviction dawned upon her, shined bright upon her, that he did love her; that he had loved her; that he would love her. And she shrank and shuddered as under the fascination of some great power, repugnant to her whole previous life. She crept away, and hid from his idea. But it was of no use. To parody a line out of Fairfax's Tasso--

'His strong idea wandered through her thought.'

She disliked him the more for having mastered her inner will.

Message Edited by pmath on 01-11-200705:00 PM




Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Re: Chapter XXIV: A Sensitive Male

That made me like John all the more - real genuine emotion. He was disappointed and hurt, truly hurt - heartbroken in fact. He loves her with his being. So different from Henry, who got rather sarcastic after his refusal. I don't think Henry loved Margaret so much for the true emotion as for the fact that she "fit" his notions of someone to love & marry. I think his pride was more injured than his emotions at her refusal - it upset his plans.



pmath wrote:
This is an unusually modern depiction of a man:

'... I have never loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.'

'I am not afraid,' she replied, lifting herself straight up. 'No one yet has ever dared to be impertinent to me, and no one ever shall. But, Mr. Thornton, you have been very kind to my father,' said she, changing her whole tone and bearing to a most womanly softness. 'Don't let us go on making each other angry. Pray don't!' He took no notice of her words: he occupied himself in smoothing the nap of his hat with his coat-sleeve, for half a minute or so; and then, rejecting her offered hand, and making as if he did not see her grave look of regret, he turned abruptly away, and left the room. Margaret caught one glance at his face before he went.

When he was gone, she thought she had seen the gleam of washed tears in his eyes; and that turned her proud dislike into something different and kinder, if nearly as painful--self-reproach for having caused such mortification to any one.



Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Chapter XXIV: Danielle's Very Astute Observation

This reminds me of what Danielle wrote earlier:


chadadanielleKR wrote (message linked here):
I definitely think that EG means to take an unconventional approach in regard to men/women relationships and to their behavior either in private or in public setting.

LizzieAnn wrote:
That made me like John all the more - real genuine emotion. He was disappointed and hurt, truly hurt - heartbroken in fact. He loves her with his being. So different from Henry, who got rather sarcastic after his refusal. I don't think Henry loved Margaret so much for the true emotion as for the fact that she "fit" his notions of someone to love & marry. I think his pride was more injured than his emotions at her refusal - it upset his plans.

pmath wrote:
This is an unusually modern depiction of a man:

'... I have never loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.'

'I am not afraid,' she replied, lifting herself straight up. 'No one yet has ever dared to be impertinent to me, and no one ever shall. But, Mr. Thornton, you have been very kind to my father,' said she, changing her whole tone and bearing to a most womanly softness. 'Don't let us go on making each other angry. Pray don't!' He took no notice of her words: he occupied himself in smoothing the nap of his hat with his coat-sleeve, for half a minute or so; and then, rejecting her offered hand, and making as if he did not see her grave look of regret, he turned abruptly away, and left the room. Margaret caught one glance at his face before he went.

When he was gone, she thought she had seen the gleam of washed tears in his eyes; and that turned her proud dislike into something different and kinder, if nearly as painful--self-reproach for having caused such mortification to any one.


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Re: Chapter XXIV: Danielle's Very Astute Observation

Yes, I find Gaskell's approach to men very unconventional and it perhaps reflects her own happy and unconventional marriage. However, she was writing for a conventional Victorian audience and in the long run had to observe the proprieties, as we shall see in the chapters ahead. This also applied to Charlotte Bronte, whom Gaskell very much admired.




pmath wrote:
This reminds me of what Danielle wrote earlier:


chadadanielleKR wrote (message linked here):
I definitely think that EG means to take an unconventional approach in regard to men/women relationships and to their behavior either in private or in public setting.

LizzieAnn wrote:
That made me like John all the more - real genuine emotion. He was disappointed and hurt, truly hurt - heartbroken in fact. He loves her with his being. So different from Henry, who got rather sarcastic after his refusal. I don't think Henry loved Margaret so much for the true emotion as for the fact that she "fit" his notions of someone to love & marry. I think his pride was more injured than his emotions at her refusal - it upset his plans.

pmath wrote:
This is an unusually modern depiction of a man:

'... I have never loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.'

'I am not afraid,' she replied, lifting herself straight up. 'No one yet has ever dared to be impertinent to me, and no one ever shall. But, Mr. Thornton, you have been very kind to my father,' said she, changing her whole tone and bearing to a most womanly softness. 'Don't let us go on making each other angry. Pray don't!' He took no notice of her words: he occupied himself in smoothing the nap of his hat with his coat-sleeve, for half a minute or so; and then, rejecting her offered hand, and making as if he did not see her grave look of regret, he turned abruptly away, and left the room. Margaret caught one glance at his face before he went.

When he was gone, she thought she had seen the gleam of washed tears in his eyes; and that turned her proud dislike into something different and kinder, if nearly as painful--self-reproach for having caused such mortification to any one.





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BBC Adaptation of N&S (Possible Spoilers)

[ Edited ]
No, that mill scene definitely wasn't in EG's novel: that wasn't the John Thornton we know and love!


LizzieAnn wrote:
They were interesting to watch, even though I don't recall the beating scene, and there's the addition of the Great Exhibition scene.

Choisya wrote:
I thought folks might like to see some of the video clips of the recent BBC production of North & South:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/northandsouth/episode1.shtml


Message Edited by pmath on 01-27-200711:45 PM

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Re: why Gaskell?



ziki wrote:
Why is Gaskell important? What is her main strength as a writer? What would be missing in the literature if she didn't occupy her spot in history?

ziki




I have only read 2 books from E. Gaskell. But I have enjoyed reading her tremendously because she is touch with the reality of her time, some other writers like J. Austen or C. Bronte don't seem to me to have such concerns. For instance, Margaret looks to me like a sister to Emma: sure of herself, learned, used to an idle life and then suddenly her life takes an unexpected turn: family misfortunes, discovery of the working class... Although she is not an avowed Feminist,she suggests that a woman can decide when and if she wants to marry, how to behave towards a man. Although she is not an avowed social Reformer, she gently and insensibly introduces her readership to the industrial revolution and its evils.

By comparison, Emma just lives in a dream like world, out of touch of the major part of her readership.

However, I am no specialist and I might be wrong but I am glad I discovered E. Gaskell.
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Experience

She was also married at the time she wrote her novels, and I think her experience shows in the detailed descriptions of women and men in love.


chadadanielleKR wrote:
I have only read 2 books from E. Gaskell. But I have enjoyed reading her tremendously because she is touch with the reality of her time, some other writers like J. Austen or C. Bronte don't seem to me to have such concerns.

ziki wrote:
Why is Gaskell important? What is her main strength as a writer? What would be missing in the literature if she didn't occupy her spot in history?

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Chapters XXII through XXV: "she shivered and trembled"

[ Edited ]
Was Margaret drawn to John in some way? What do you think of Fanny's opinion?

'I know she cares for my brother; any one can see that; ...' [Chapter XXII]
Is this fear, or something else?

'...--oh, Miss Hale!' continued [John], lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, ... [Chapter XXIV]

LizzieAnn wrote:
I ... think she's frightened of the depth of John's emotion - his passion, his continuing love.

pmath wrote:
What exactly is going on here?!

...the clear conviction dawned upon her, shined bright upon her, that he did love her; that he had loved her; that he would love her. And she shrank and shuddered as under the fascination of some great power, repugnant to her whole previous life. She crept away, and hid from his idea. But it was of no use. To parody a line out of Fairfax's Tasso--

'His strong idea wandered through her thought.'

She disliked him the more for having mastered her inner will.
[Chapter XXV]


Message Edited by pmath on 01-17-200702:38 PM

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Re: Chapters XXII through XV: "she shivered and trembled"

It sounds like the lust that Victorian ladies are not supposed to have to me:smileyhappy:




pmath wrote:
Was Margaret drawn to John in some way? What do you think of Fanny's opinion?

'I know she cares for my brother; any one can see that; ...' [Chapter XXII]
Is this fear, or something else?

'...--oh, Miss Hale!' continued [John], lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, ... [Chapter XIV]

LizzieAnn wrote:
I ... think she's frightened of the depth of John's emotion - his passion, his continuing love.

pmath wrote:
What exactly is going on here?!

...the clear conviction dawned upon her, shined bright upon her, that he did love her; that he had loved her; that he would love her. And she shrank and shuddered as under the fascination of some great power, repugnant to her whole previous life. She crept away, and hid from his idea. But it was of no use. To parody a line out of Fairfax's Tasso--

'His strong idea wandered through her thought.'

She disliked him the more for having mastered her inner will.
[Chapter XV]





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Re: Chapters XXII through XV: "she shivered and trembled"

I'm finding it difficult to accurately know Margaret's feelings. If she is attracted to him, it's coming on a subconscious level - which is perhaps the most telling of all. Consider how she berates herself after the event - trying to rationalize why she did what she did. There's also her feelings after his declaration.

I think Margaret has difficulty is seeing herself as a lover & wife. Consider her feelings even after Henry proposed. Even though they are not as violent as her reactions to John's declaration, they were they. She's affronted by the fact that someone looks at her "that way." Her stronger reactions to John may be due to the fact that (1) she believes he is beneath her, and (2) she's subsconsciously drawn to him.



pmath wrote:
Was Margaret drawn to John in some way? What do you think of Fanny's opinion?

'I know she cares for my brother; any one can see that; ...' [Chapter XXII]
Is this fear, or something else?

'...--oh, Miss Hale!' continued [John], lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, ... [Chapter XIV]
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Re: Chapters XXII through XV: "she shivered and trembled"

See my post about the views of Mary Wolstonecraft, which I think are apposite here.




LizzieAnn wrote:
I'm finding it difficult to accurately know Margaret's feelings. If she is attracted to him, it's coming on a subconscious level - which is perhaps the most telling of all. Consider how she berates herself after the event - trying to rationalize why she did what she did. There's also her feelings after his declaration.

I think Margaret has difficulty is seeing herself as a lover & wife. Consider her feelings even after Henry proposed. Even though they are not as violent as her reactions to John's declaration, they were they. She's affronted by the fact that someone looks at her "that way." Her stronger reactions to John may be due to the fact that (1) she believes he is beneath her, and (2) she's subsconsciously drawn to him.



pmath wrote:
Was Margaret drawn to John in some way? What do you think of Fanny's opinion?

'I know she cares for my brother; any one can see that; ...' [Chapter XXII]
Is this fear, or something else?

'...--oh, Miss Hale!' continued [John], lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, ... [Chapter XIV]



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Re: Chapters XXII through XV: "she shivered and trembled"



LizzieAnn wrote:
I'm finding it difficult to accurately know Margaret's feelings. If she is attracted to him, it's coming on a subconscious level - which is perhaps the most telling of all. Consider how she berates herself after the event - trying to rationalize why she did what she did. There's also her feelings after his declaration.

I think Margaret has difficulty is seeing herself as a lover & wife. Consider her feelings even after Henry proposed. Even though they are not as violent as her reactions to John's declaration, they were they. She's affronted by the fact that someone looks at her "that way." Her stronger reactions to John may be due to the fact that (1) she believes he is beneath her, and (2) she's subsconsciously drawn to him.



pmath wrote:
Was Margaret drawn to John in some way? What do you think of Fanny's opinion?

'I know she cares for my brother; any one can see that; ...' [Chapter XXII]
Is this fear, or something else?

'...--oh, Miss Hale!' continued [John], lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, ... [Chapter XIV]





I agree with the second point, the first one is maybe more complex than just the idea that he is beneath him. She also just doesn't want to submit herself to men's will. She wants to remain the master of her life and doesn't want her feelings to guide her life. But she might not know how to make him understand "the problem". He could have just given up and he would have been "lost" for her, although she had deep feelings for him! (by the way, I think think it is what Choisya said when she mentioned Mary W. in another post...)
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Intermission, Chapters I through XXV: Climax

Do you think the climax was at some point during the strike (Chapter XXII), John's proposal (Chapter XXIV), or some other event?
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Chapters XXVI through XXXIX (Vol. II, Ch. I through Ch. XIV)

We discussed the first 25 chapters (out of 52) of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South during the first two weeks. This thread is for our discussion of the next 14 chapters.

I suggest including chapter number(s) in the subject line, so that readers who haven't yet read through Chapter XXXIX (Vol. II, Ch. XIV) can participate in discussions of earlier chapters right away. I also suggest including a direct quote in each message, to focus the discussion, and to avoid spoilers!
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