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

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Margaret’s visit to the Thorntons to ask Mrs. Thornton for the loan of the water bed for her mother was at a most inopportune time – she is trapped there during the strikers’ assembly and near-riot. She tries to protect John from being hit with a flying rock, and in the process is hurt herself. At this point John articulates his love for Margaret, even though she is unaware of it. “Oh, my Margaret – my Margaret! No one can tell what you are to me! Dead – cold as you lie there, you are the only woman I ever loved! Oh, Margaret – Margaret.” [page 179 – Chapter 22 – A Blow and Its Consequences]

Margaret’s also embarrassed by her actions because they give rise to the idea of others that she’s throwing herself at him. These actions cause everyone, including John, to think that Margaret harbors some warm feelings for him. At this time Margaret is sure that she does not have warm feelings:

“’But what possessed me to defend that man…it is no wonder those people thought I was in love with him, after disgracing myself in that way. I in love – and with him too!’ Her pale cheeks suddenly became one flame of fire; and she covered her face with her hands. When she took them away, her palms were wet with scalding tears.” and “Oh how low I am fallen that they should say that of me! I could not have been so brave for any one else, just because he was so utterly indifferent to me – if, indeed, I do not positively dislike him. It made more anxious that there should be fair play on each side…I would do it again.” [page 188 – Chapter 23 – Mistakes]

Her actions have set unwanted events in motion. Mr. Thornton comes to call to assure himself of her well being, to apologize, and to tell her of his love. “’And it doubles the gladness, it makes the pride glow, it sharpens the sense of existence till I hardly know if it is pain or pleasure, to think that I owe it to one – nay, you must, you shall hear’ – said he, stepping forwards with stern determination – ‘to one whom I love, as I do not believe man ever loved woman before.’” [page 193 – Chapter 24 – Mistakes Cleared Up].

This outpouring of love so insults her that she answers & treats him harshly. “…as he heard her icy tone; for icy it was, though the words came faltering out, as if she knew not were to find them.

‘Your way of speaking shocks me…I do not want to vex you;…but your whole manner offends me –‘” and

“’You seem to fancy that my conduct of yesterday’ – again the deep carnation blush, but this time with eyes kindling with indignation rather than same – ‘ was a personal act between you and me; and that you may come and thank me for it, instead of perceiving, as a gentleman would – yes! A gentleman,’ she repeated in allusion to their former conversation about that word, ‘that any woman, worthy of the name woman, would come forward to shield, with her reverenced helplessness, a man in danger from the violence of numbers.’” [pages 192-3 – Chapter 24 – Mistakes Cleared Up].

It’s obvious that Margaret still holds fast to her old (southern) restraints of what constitutes a “gentleman.” She does not look behind the surface to truly judge people for what they are – at least not yet. She is greatly disturbed by Mr. Thornton’s love and his avowal of continuing love.

“How dared he say that he would love her still, even though she shook him off with contempt.” “And so she shuddered away from the threat of his enduring love.” [page 196 – Chapter 25 – Frederick]

Her mother’s despair and pleadings convince Margaret to write to her brother Frederick and tell him of their mother’s illness, and post her letter immediately. Her father’s revelations as to the danger Frederick would face if he were found on English soil scare and upset her, making her question the wisdom of her actions. “Oh, pap, what have I done! And yet it seemed so right at the time.” [page 203 – Chapter 25 – Frederick]
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 XXII – XXV : Mary Wollstonecraft

[ Edited ]
“How dared he say that he would love her still, even though she shook him off with contempt.” “And so she shuddered away from the threat of his enduring love.” :-

It is interesting, I find, that Margaret shrugged off the attentions of Mr Lennox when she was in Helston and here she is doing the same thing with Mr Thornton. I think Gaskell is making the point that marriage is not all there is in a woman's life and that passion should be resisted. This is a very Mary Wollstonecraft concept, expounded in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) in which she states that 'The foundation of morality in all human beings, male or female, is their common possession of the faculty of reason and women must claim their equality by accepting its unemotional dictates. Excessive concern for romantic love and physical desirability are not the natural conditions of female existence but rather the socially-imposed means by which male domination enslaves them.' She was a great believer in education for women, a controversial idea then, and she and her sister opened a school for girls. She was also, like Mr Hale (and the Gaskells), a Dissenter.




LizzieAnn wrote:
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Margaret’s visit to the Thorntons to ask Mrs. Thornton for the loan of the water bed for her mother was at a most inopportune time – she is trapped there during the strikers’ assembly and near-riot. She tries to protect John from being hit with a flying rock, and in the process is hurt herself. At this point John articulates his love for Margaret, even though she is unaware of it. “Oh, my Margaret – my Margaret! No one can tell what you are to me! Dead – cold as you lie there, you are the only woman I ever loved! Oh, Margaret – Margaret.” [page 179 – Chapter 22 – A Blow and Its Consequences]

Margaret’s also embarrassed by her actions because they give rise to the idea of others that she’s throwing herself at him. These actions cause everyone, including John, to think that Margaret harbors some warm feelings for him. At this time Margaret is sure that she does not have warm feelings:

“’But what possessed me to defend that man…it is no wonder those people thought I was in love with him, after disgracing myself in that way. I in love – and with him too!’ Her pale cheeks suddenly became one flame of fire; and she covered her face with her hands. When she took them away, her palms were wet with scalding tears.” and “Oh how low I am fallen that they should say that of me! I could not have been so brave for any one else, just because he was so utterly indifferent to me – if, indeed, I do not positively dislike him. It made more anxious that there should be fair play on each side…I would do it again.” [page 188 – Chapter 23 – Mistakes]

Her actions have set unwanted events in motion. Mr. Thornton comes to call to assure himself of her well being, to apologize, and to tell her of his love. “’And it doubles the gladness, it makes the pride glow, it sharpens the sense of existence till I hardly know if it is pain or pleasure, to think that I owe it to one – nay, you must, you shall hear’ – said he, stepping forwards with stern determination – ‘to one whom I love, as I do not believe man ever loved woman before.’” [page 193 – Chapter 24 – Mistakes Cleared Up].

This outpouring of love so insults her that she answers & treats him harshly. “…as he heard her icy tone; for icy it was, though the words came faltering out, as if she knew not were to find them.

‘Your way of speaking shocks me…I do not want to vex you;…but your whole manner offends me –‘” and

“’You seem to fancy that my conduct of yesterday’ – again the deep carnation blush, but this time with eyes kindling with indignation rather than same – ‘ was a personal act between you and me; and that you may come and thank me for it, instead of perceiving, as a gentleman would – yes! A gentleman,’ she repeated in allusion to their former conversation about that word, ‘that any woman, worthy of the name woman, would come forward to shield, with her reverenced helplessness, a man in danger from the violence of numbers.’” [pages 192-3 – Chapter 24 – Mistakes Cleared Up].

It’s obvious that Margaret still holds fast to her old (southern) restraints of what constitutes a “gentleman.” She does not look behind the surface to truly judge people for what they are – at least not yet. She is greatly disturbed by Mr. Thornton’s love and his avowal of continuing love.

“How dared he say that he would love her still, even though she shook him off with contempt.” “And so she shuddered away from the threat of his enduring love.” [page 196 – Chapter 25 – Frederick]

Her mother’s despair and pleadings convince Margaret to write to her brother Frederick and tell him of their mother’s illness, and post her letter immediately. Her father’s revelations as to the danger Frederick would face if he were found on English soil scare and upset her, making her question the wisdom of her actions. “Oh, pap, what have I done! And yet it seemed so right at the time.” [page 203 – Chapter 25 – Frederick]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-14-200705:46 PM

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