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Frequent Contributor
LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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North & South - Chapters IX - XIII

like that we learn about more characters.

Mr. Thornton visits the Hales for tea, and Margaret bemoans the extra work it causes her. Mrs. Thornton (John Thornton’s mother) is introduced to us. She looks down on the Hales much as Margaret does on the Thorntons, and she’s afraid of her son’s being “caught” by Margaret. Hearing of Margaret’s contemptuous attitude towards her son, she takes an instant dislike to her:

“’Despise my son! Treat him as her vassal, indeed! Hump! I should like to know where she could find such another! Boy and man, he’s the noblest, stoutest heart I ever knew. I don’t care if I am his mother! I can see what’s what, and not be blind. I know what Fanny is; and I know what John is. Despise him! I hate her.’” [end of Chapter IX; p. 78]

This quote tells us much about Mrs. Thornton and John. During the tea, Mr. Thornton’s honesty, convictions, and beliefs come through as well as Margaret’s continued contemptuousness. We learn about Mr. Thornton’s background, both from him & Mr. Hale. This is a self-made man who makes no apologies for his life. John’s mother & sister Fanny pay a visit to the Hales at Thornton’s insistence. Margaret also visits Bessy at her home. Fanny seems vain, vapid, and empty.

Mrs. Hale also seems to begin to ail and suffer. Margaret worries that her mother is becoming seriously ill, but her father refuses to take Margaret’s worries seriously. He will not listen to the possibility that his wife may be ill; I think he refuses to see it.
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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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: North & South - Chapters IX - XIII : Margaret's Bildungsroman

Yes, we begin to learn what a struggle Margaret is having with all the domestic chores she now has to do. So different from her ladylike life in Helston. Whilst preparing for Mr Thornton's first visit she jokingly compares herself to 'Peggy the laundry maid' and her ever miserable mother replies:-

"Yes! if any one had told me, when I was Miss Beresford, and one of the belles of the county, that a child of mine would have to stand half a day, in a little poky kitchen, working away like any servant, that we might prepare properly for the reception of a tradesman, and that this tradesman should be the only" — "Oh, mamma!" said Margaret, lifting herself up, "don't punish me so for a careless speech. I don't mind ironing, or any kind of work, for you and papa. I am myself a born and bred lady through it all, even though it comes to scouring a floor, or washing dishes. I am tired now, just for a little while; but in half an hour I shall be ready to do the same over again. And as to Mr. Thornton's being in trade, why he can't help that now, poor fellow. I don't suppose his education would fit him for much else." Margaret lifted herself slowly up, and went to her own room; for just now she could not bear much more.

By now I think we can see that Margaret is on a Bildungsroman - 'a journey of self development within a defined social order'. We first see her as a pampered young woman in a wealthy household; she is then forced to leave that happy environment and journey to a strange place, where she experiences poverty and undergoes arduous trials & tribulations because of a new social order before she....






LizzieAnn wrote:
like that we learn about more characters.

Mr. Thornton visits the Hales for tea, and Margaret bemoans the extra work it causes her. Mrs. Thornton (John Thornton’s mother) is introduced to us. She looks down on the Hales much as Margaret does on the Thorntons, and she’s afraid of her son’s being “caught” by Margaret. Hearing of Margaret’s contemptuous attitude towards her son, she takes an instant dislike to her:

“’Despise my son! Treat him as her vassal, indeed! Hump! I should like to know where she could find such another! Boy and man, he’s the noblest, stoutest heart I ever knew. I don’t care if I am his mother! I can see what’s what, and not be blind. I know what Fanny is; and I know what John is. Despise him! I hate her.’” [end of Chapter IX; p. 78]

This quote tells us much about Mrs. Thornton and John. During the tea, Mr. Thornton’s honesty, convictions, and beliefs come through as well as Margaret’s continued contemptuousness. We learn about Mr. Thornton’s background, both from him & Mr. Hale. This is a self-made man who makes no apologies for his life. John’s mother & sister Fanny pay a visit to the Hales at Thornton’s insistence. Margaret also visits Bessy at her home. Fanny seems vain, vapid, and empty.

Mrs. Hale also seems to begin to ail and suffer. Margaret worries that her mother is becoming seriously ill, but her father refuses to take Margaret’s worries seriously. He will not listen to the possibility that his wife may be ill; I think he refuses to see it.

Frequent Contributor
LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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N&S - Chps IX - XIII Margaret's Bildungsroman

It's definitely a bildungsroman. Margaret reminds me a little (just a little) of Austen's Emma. They both have such a rigid way of looking at people...they both undergo a period of self-discovery. Well such narrow-mindedness of thinking was probably common for the time - it doesn't do for a heroine, does it? :smileyhappy:



Choisya wrote:

By now I think we can see that Margaret is on a Bildungsroman - 'a journey of self development within a defined social order'. We first see her as a pampered young woman in a wealthy household; she is then forced to leave that happy environment and journey to a strange place, where she experiences poverty and undergoes arduous trials & tribulations because of a new social order before she....

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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