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That is a stimulating and positive message!

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View all 33 comments. And that means a great deal. It's very rare to get such a deep look into the emotions of the male love interest but Gaskell didn't shy away from showing us our beautiful precious son from his most vulnerable side. This is some relatable content right there. Elizabeth Gaskell has such a way with words, I am so obsessed with her beautiful language and also with all of the fitting poems that she chose as epigraphs for her chapters, gosh! Anyway, back to my favorite topic: Mr John Thornton.

I have written down his TOP 10 moments in chronological order and, of course, I'll gladly share the list with you: 1 His first meeting with Margaret He almost said to himself that he did not like her, before their conversation ended; he tried so to compensate himself for the mortified feeling, that while he looked upon her with an admiration he could not repress, she looked at him with proud indifference, taking him, he thought, for what, in his irritation, he told himself he was — a great rough fellow, with not a grace or a refinement about him.

John is just such a precious little boy, like, my man is just damn insecure and confused that he's so shook about Margaret, and honestly, I can relate. He tries so hard to gain control of his emotions but he's immediately besotted by her.

She simply bowed her farewell; although the instant she saw the hand, half put out, quickly drawn back, she was sorry she had not been aware of the intention. You could seriously make a whole saga about their hand touching business because Miss Gaskell really thought this shit through. I mean it takes so many tries for them to finally shake hands that when they do "he knew it was the first time their hands had met, though she was perfectly unconscious of the fact. But you know I am but an uncouth Milton manufacturer; will you forgive me?

I mean, he truly is a soft boiiiii.

Thornton felt that in this influx no one was speaking to Margaret, and was restless under this apparent neglect. But he never went near her himself; he did not look at her. Only, he knew what she was doing — or not doing — better than he knew the movements of any one else in the room. John cares so much for Margaret. He wants her to have friends, he wants her to be accepted by the people in Milton. He genuinely wants her to be happy and have a good time I cry. Hold my fucking beer, because I knew I was a goner after this scene. That whole scene.

What a mess! Thornton's complete lack of chill whenever Margaret is involved really mesmerises me. I claim the right of expressing my feelings. I mean, Margaret was completely savage in her refusal and I love her for it, but my precious boy did really well by standing his ground and letting more of his vulnerable side show. I mean, let's not kid ourselves, there's one thing this book excels at and that's pining BUT John is always soooo respectful when it comes to his feelings towards Margaret? He doesn't think she belongs to him, he's fully convinced she'll never have him and that she's too good for him and after her refusal, he just accepts that and leaves her alone, despite the fact that his feelings for her haven't vanished.

Let her go — with her stony heart, and her beauty; — how set and terrible her look is now, for all her loveliness of feature! She is afraid I shall speak what will require some stern repression. Let her go. Beauty and heiress as she may be, she will find it hard to meet with a truer heart than mine. Let her go! I really thought it was over at this point. Their farewell was heartbreaking. John was so bitter and sad about it but he knew there was nothing he could to, and so he let her be. Like, we stan a realistic queen!

I mean, nothing will top his declarations of love. I went there on my return from Havre. John is a hopeless romantic AND, not gonna lie, this book turned me into one as well.

NORTH & SOUTH: Annotated by Elisabeth Gaskell

He can get it any day. I particularly enjoyed John's loving relationship to his mother, and how much she cared for him and wanted to protect him, but also all the drama surrounding the strike and the plight of the workers, especially Nicholas and Bessy Higgins were wonderful characters I grew very fond of. Just them three. She is hands down one of my favorite heroines in Victorian literature. Such a strong and self-determined woman!

She did not wish to be so exclusively addressed. She replied out in her usual tone. View all 30 comments. Painful at times, and adorable at others. Margaret came to the industrial town of Milton from Haleston, a village. Her father who is a parson took Mr. Thornton as his student. Soon Margaret and Mr. Thornton find themselves on the opposite side of wall which has poor people on one side and rich on the other. Thornton realizes early on about his feelings for Margaret but as a proud and arrogant girl, she refused to see the utter devotion with which he loves her.

Later on she came to sense but it was too late by then and she was on her way to other town and thousands of pounds richer. Gaskell shows us the strife of poor in those days of industrialization when almost everyone was struggling financially in the town of Milton. In my she sided with the poor but also showed us the side where rich were equally struggling to meet ends. She very cleverly has knitted this love story with social issue of that time.

Characters have fault but humans are tend to have them and that's what makes this book so dear to me. Highly recommended if you can bear the slow pace, and the tug of war between rich and poor. View all 5 comments. Shelves: classics , women-writers. I can't quite put my finger on why I love this book quite as much as I do. And even for someone who does re-read books as much as I do, to get through 3 copies of one book is quite a feat.

For me, the most remarkable achievement of Gaskell is that she is able to combine so many elements of various 19th century novelistic traditions and yet not have the novel collapse into incomprehensibility. The broad scope of the novel, coupled with insightful depth and comment means that each reading of the bo I can't quite put my finger on why I love this book quite as much as I do. The broad scope of the novel, coupled with insightful depth and comment means that each reading of the book can offer something new. Read it as a straight forward or not love story, a fictional romantic biography.

Then discover the class politics that run through the novel.

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Or perhaps the debate as the title suggests between the rapidly industrialising north and the more gentrified south. Or the sexual and gender politics that create a constant thematic pulse throughout the book Or any other matter you choose to seek out from religion to the nature of authority and so on and so forth. There is so much to be gained from the many directions in which this book can pull you: I personally have often come away from the book wanting to follow up on points raised, to examine the history behind the work. Or, if in a romantic mood, I will find snippets of prose or dialogue floating around my head.

Their story is successful because they are believable: they are imperfect, act willfully and foolishly, but ultimately they are good people. Margaret, especially, is an engaging heroine: her independance and strength of character in the face of remorseless adversity make her compelling, and gives the reader a real desire to see her gain her "happy" ending. Criticisms I have heard against the book have numbered the following: -It is dry -Its "over-emotional" prose kills any actual emotion i.

Obviously, to enjoy this book you need to familiarise and accept the conventions of the 19th century novel i. After all, that's how the escapism occurs! North and South is no more dry and in my personal opinion a lot less dry than Dickens, far less emotional than the heated Villette, and certainly as believable as anything written by Austen, Shelley or the Brontes.

Summary of 'North and South' - Elizabeth Gaskell

Indeed, Gaskell is more firmly tied to realism via her evocation of working class Manchester. And in terms of Gaskell owing much in style to, say Dickens, that is no great suprise: Gaskell was similarly writing in serialised format, and Dickens edited much of North and South.