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LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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North & South - Chapters XIV – XVII

I was glad to finally learn the story about Frederick. What a burden that the family’s had to live through. Knowing that if Frederick were to be found on British soil again, he would be hung.

The Thornton’s house sounds gloomy & oppressive – maybe indicative of the inhabitants…the town…the story…the mill. It’s obvious that Mrs. Thornton looks down on the Hales and does not think well of them, even going so far as to disbelieve in Mrs. Hale’s illness. The differences of their two worlds are apparent:

“Both Mr. Hale and Margaret had an uneasy, ludicrous consciousness that they had never heard of this great name, until Mr. Bell had written word that Mr. Thornton would be a good friend to have in Milton. The proud mother’s world was not their world of Harley Street gentilities on the one hard, or country clergymen and Hampshire squires on the other.” (pg 114 – Chapter 15 – Masters & Men)

The threat of a strike is emphasized and we’re made aware that problems & troubles are coming. Also the difference between the Thorntons and the Hales is emphasized. As Mr. Thornton says to Margaret:

“'You are just like all strangers who don’t understand the working of our system, Miss Hale,’ said he, hastily.” (pg 123 – Chapter 15 – Masters & Men)

We learn Mrs. Hale is dying when Margaret forces the doctor to tell her the truth. Once again, it will be Margaret who will have to deliver sad & life-altering news to one of her parents – this time her father – at the appropriate time. Margaret & Dixon go beyond their jealousy of each other in their dealings with Mrs. Hale and form a truce.

During a visit with the Higgins family, there’s talk about the strike and about life in the north and in the south. We can see Margaret’s ideas have begun to change, and that she is looking more pragmatically at life and the world around her. As she tells Bessy when talking honestly about the South, which she had always idealized before,:

“I only mean, Bessy, that there’s good and bad in everything in this world; and as you felt the bad up here, I thought it was but fair you should know the bad down there.” (pg 133 – Chapter 17 – What is a Strike?)

This is indicative of Margaret’s growth and another stage in her journey. She’s beginning to look at the world as it really is, even if she doesn’t understand it all yet.
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 XIV – XVII

Yes, we are beginning to see that the differences between the North South are not just that of the countryside but of the character of the people and the work that they are engaged in. I believe I have written before about the 'gentility' of the South of England compared with the 'roughness' of the North - even the landscape gently rolls in the South but is rough and wild in the North. The South has long been affected by the proximity of the monarch's court and patronage to the 'Home Counties' around London whereas the North, with its deposits of coal and iron has long been the source of heavy industry and rebellion. The 'aristocrats' of the South are those who socialise with the lords and ladies associated with the monarchy etc., whereas the 'aristocrats' of the North are self made men like Mr Thornton. However, the agricultural labourers in the South are just as poor and disenfranchised as the industrial labourers in the North, which Margaret would not have been aware of in her more 'ladylike' days.






LizzieAnn wrote:
I was glad to finally learn the story about Frederick. What a burden that the family’s had to live through. Knowing that if Frederick were to be found on British soil again, he would be hung.

The Thornton’s house sounds gloomy & oppressive – maybe indicative of the inhabitants…the town…the story…the mill. It’s obvious that Mrs. Thornton looks down on the Hales and does not think well of them, even going so far as to disbelieve in Mrs. Hale’s illness. The differences of their two worlds are apparent:

“Both Mr. Hale and Margaret had an uneasy, ludicrous consciousness that they had never heard of this great name, until Mr. Bell had written word that Mr. Thornton would be a good friend to have in Milton. The proud mother’s world was not their world of Harley Street gentilities on the one hard, or country clergymen and Hampshire squires on the other.” (pg 114 – Chapter 15 – Masters & Men)

The threat of a strike is emphasized and we’re made aware that problems & troubles are coming. Also the difference between the Thorntons and the Hales is emphasized. As Mr. Thornton says to Margaret:

“'You are just like all strangers who don’t understand the working of our system, Miss Hale,’ said he, hastily.” (pg 123 – Chapter 15 – Masters & Men)

We learn Mrs. Hale is dying when Margaret forces the doctor to tell her the truth. Once again, it will be Margaret who will have to deliver sad & life-altering news to one of her parents – this time her father – at the appropriate time. Margaret & Dixon go beyond their jealousy of each other in their dealings with Mrs. Hale and form a truce.

During a visit with the Higgins family, there’s talk about the strike and about life in the north and in the south. We can see Margaret’s ideas have begun to change, and that she is looking more pragmatically at life and the world around her. As she tells Bessy when talking honestly about the South, which she had always idealized before,:

“I only mean, Bessy, that there’s good and bad in everything in this world; and as you felt the bad up here, I thought it was but fair you should know the bad down there.” (pg 133 – Chapter 17 – What is a Strike?)

This is indicative of Margaret’s growth and another stage in her journey. She’s beginning to look at the world as it really is, even if she doesn’t understand it all yet.


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