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LizzieAnn
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North & South - Chapters XVIII – XXI

We see Margaret trying to keep the truth of her mother’s illness from her father, and Mr. Hale’s not truly seeing what’s in front of him – whether from avoiding the truth or from honestly not seeing it is not clear.

John defends the Hales to his mother when she learns that only father & daughter will be attending her dinner party – that they’re not coming from any ulterior motives. Fanny’s snobbery is also illustrated at this time when she says of Margaret: “She seems to have a great notion of giving herself airs; and I can’t make out why. I could almost fancy she thinks herself too good for her company at times. And yet they’re not rich; from all I can hear they never have been.” (page 141, Chapter 18 – Likes and Dislikes) In her own way, she’s rigid in her thinking.

Mrs. Thornton worries about John falling for Margaret and yet is upset when he says that Margaret would not have him, although she confirms his suspicions. “Only you’re right in saying she’s too good an opinion of herself to think of you.” (page 142, Chapter 18 – Likes and Dislikes)

Margaret’s transformation is also illustrated. She doesn’t care about what she’s going to wear to the party while her mother is very concerned about it. This is a different Margaret than the one in London who probably discussed her attire with her cousin before attending any function.

Margaret’s having trouble in reconciling the person of John Thornton. With regards to the strike, she feels that he reasons “as if commerce were everything and humanity nothing.” (page 152 – Chapter 19 – Angel Visits), and yet he offers assistance and comfort for Mrs. Hale. Margaret has a great deal of trouble accepting his good intentions and services. “…all conspired to set Margaret’s teeth on edge, as she looked at him, and listened to him.” … “Yet he knew all. She saw it in his pitying eyes. She heard it in his grave and tremulous voice. How reconcile those eyes, that voice, with the hard-reasoning, dry, merciless way in which he laid down axioms of trade, and serenely followed them out to their full consequences? The discord jarred upon her inexpressibly.” (page 152, Chapter 19 – Angel Visits)

In town the strike is beginning, yet it’s too soon to truly see its consequences. Through Boucher and Nicholas Higgins, we saw what different working men are going through.

During the Thorntons’ party, John seems to come more under Margaret’s spell, while Margaret sees another side of him, a more positive aspect. “Margaret’s attention was thus called to her host; his whole manner, as master of the house and entertainer of his friends, was so straightforward, yet simple and modest, as to be thoroughly dignified. Margaret thought she had never seen him to so much advantage.”… “He was regarded by them as a man of great force of character; of power in many ways. There was not need to struggle for their respect. He had it, and he knew it; and the security of this gave a fine grand quietness to his voice and ways, which Margaret had missed before.” (page 161, Chapter 20 – Men and Gentlemen)

The discussion between Margaret and John Thornton regarding a “gentleman” versus a “true man” during the party was very illuminating as well. I think that John gave Margaret something to really think about. This statement of John’s is potent: “I take it that ‘gentleman’ is a term that only describes a person in his relation to others; but when we speak of him as “a man,” we consider him not merely with regard to his fellow-men, but in relation to himself, - to life – to time – to eternity.” (page 163, Chapter 20 – Men and Gentlemen)

After returning home after the party, the Hales discover that Mrs. Hale has had a severe attack. It’s then that Mr. Hale finally learns of the scope of Mrs. Hale’s illness. To help ease her suffering, Margaret agrees to go to Mrs. Thornton to beg loan of her water bed. (I never knew that they had water beds at that time. Learn something new every day!)
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 XX: Gentleman

The irony is that John actually is a gentleman!

'... A man is to me a higher and a completer being than a gentleman.'

LizzieAnn wrote:
The discussion between Margaret and John Thornton regarding a “gentleman” versus a “true man” during the party was very illuminating as well. I think that John gave Margaret something to really think about. This statement of John’s is potent: “I take it that ‘gentleman’ is a term that only describes a person in his relation to others; but when we speak of him as “a man,” we consider him not merely with regard to his fellow-men, but in relation to himself, - to life – to time – to eternity.” (page 163, Chapter 20 – Men and Gentlemen)
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Chapter XX: Gentleman

So true. I honestly think he has the strongest and truest character of any other in the book. He's quite my favorite character.



pmath wrote:
The irony is that John actually is a gentleman!

'... A man is to me a higher and a completer being than a gentleman.'
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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