The Loss of Innocence

If one the typical characters of Jane Austen’s novels were to leave for any reason
the pampered life of a good, refined but secluded society made of balls, laces,
tittle-tattle, great expectations and shattered dreams to face the world outside,
well, very likely we would be reading one of the novels written by Elizabeth
Gaskell. Margaret Hale, the protagonist of North and South, could be in any way one
of Jane Austen’s most memorable characters : remarkably beautiful, intelligent, well
educated, young and therefore, ready to marry, but the pursue of a good match is
not the central theme here. Her perfect world will be smashed by her father’s sudden
decision to quit the church and move where the “dark satanic mills” have utterly
changed the landscape and the heart of people: the North. In Jane Austen’s books the
North has always been the remote place where the regiment was dislocated and
nothing more. There is never a hint about the profound changes the industrial
revolution was bringing about in the country. The arrival in the Northern town of
Milton will be felt by Margaret and her family as if they had been sunk into a hell
made of noise, dirt and machines. The verdant, peaceful, aristocratic South is only
a painful memory of the heaven they fear to have lost forever.

In the hell of Milton the Thorntons are the most distinguished family, and Mr Thornton is another Mr Darcy, a Darcy of the North, of course: a mill owner whose position has not been secured by breed, but by hard discipline and work .The educated but poor Margaret Hale and the rich but unrefined Mr Thornton are destined to follow the same love pattern of Pride and Prejudice: prejudice and misunderstanding at first, development of affection on both sides with a different degree of awareness, rejected proposal, smoothing of characters to a deserved happy ending. However, the context the two act, is harsher and more tragic than that of Pride and Prejudice. In Elizabeth Gaskell’s world there is pain, desolation, the desperate struggle to survive of the emerging, exploited classes working in mills and the brutal industrial plans of their masters. It is the real world which, nevertheless, allows the growth of genuine, sincere bonds and affections even among members of different classes.There is no time for frivolous deception and seemingly pointless conversation here, there is understanding and mutual support.

Mr Darcy and Mr Thornton share that scowl which actually hides a surprisingly sensitive nature, but Mr Thornton has deeper comprehension of people and himself. If we compare the two proposal scenes, for instance, Mr Darcy has no doubt he will be accepted. He is full of himself, after all, he knows who he is and what a good catch he would be for any girl. Elizabeth’s refusal takes him by surprise. Mr Thornton proposes not only because he is sincerely in love with Margaret, but because he feels bound in honour as Margaret’s coming to his rescue, while he was facing an angry mob, had been generally interpreted as a manifestation of her feelings for him. He knowns she doesn’t love him, that she thinks he is not good enough for her and that he won’t be accepted, even if she is in reduced circumstances. Despite her refusal, he will continue to offer his discreet support to her family in the many times of need.

Margaret’s love for Mr Thornton will grow, despite her initial prejudices, along with the understanding not only of the man but also of the dynamics of that part of the country he embodies. When  Margaret, after a great deal of tragedy, visits the house she was born and bred in the South, the happy and enchanted place of her thoughtless years,  she’ll be unable to revive those emotions that, however, are still vivid in her mind. That heaven like place does not exist any longer, because she’s deeply changed. Life had thrown her into the Blakean world of experience of the North and Helstone represents for her now that innocence she has painfully lost forever.


122 thoughts on “The Loss of Innocence

  1. In the story, it was immediately clear that Margaret suffered a lot when she moved to the North.
    When she lived in the south she was like a carefree girl who lived in the well-being and greenery of those immense meadows that also surrounded her house. Instead, thanks also to the skill of the recorder of this small TV series, it was possible to clearly understand what life was like in a northern city like Milton. They showed us a dirty, run-down and above all dark and polluted city due to the presence of the large and many industries that were present. Margaret found herself in a place where there were diseases and filth and this put her in great difficulty. But over time she began to understand how life worked in industrialized cities and she too had a noticeable change, which could also be seen when she returned to the south, she was no longer the innocent old Margaret.

  2. Southern villages with their life sweet and full of childish dreams has no part in the “real life” of England’s industrial cities.
    The North’s roughness is not only depicted cinematographically through the grey scales and claustrophobic cuts of the camera, but also through the people’s attitude and appearance. The fluffy dresses of Margareth and her mother meet the stiffness of Mrs. Thornston’s. The snow white and puffy faces of southerners’ makes contrast with the hollow and dirty ones of all the millers in the city of Milton.
    These details are as thin and sharp as a knife. They cut through Margareth’s and the viewer’s idea of an England made up by nothing but ladies and gentlemen. A knife that cuts the links from an innocence, that won’t let anyone admit the existence of such disparities between different classes of people.

  3. in my opinion moving from south to north is something hard to deal with for Margaret, but is also something necessary that helps her growing up. Spending an entire life in the south would be like living your whole life in a bubble: some kind of reality that isn’t actually reality and in which you’ll never face real problems cause you’ll always be protected. By the time she’ll be in the north she’ll become more indipendent, brave and able to face issues

  4. Margaret needed to move from south to north. it has passed from the innocence of the south to the experience of the north. it struck me how, however, once shehad the opportunity to return to the south, where even if more peaceful but where he was not feeling well, he decided to stay in the “satanic” north because she felt he was able to stay there and because she like there was where she wanted to be

  5. I find myself having to confirm my preference for the story “North and South” as once again the characters demonstrate details of their characters best from my point of view. Thornton’s humility far exceeds Mr. Darcy’s presumption just as Margaret’s sincere love overcomes Lizzy’s doubtful love. I can also say that instead of Margaret and her family I would probably have despaired by leaving a small paradise for a hell like that of the North.

  6. In the story you can feel the melancholy and sadness caused by the abandonment of the place and the house where she was born where everything around her was quiet, green and you could breathe pure and carefree air, the contrio when she arrived in Milton, her everyday life was upset but she managed to get to know and get used to city life … so much so that when he returned to his childhood home it was different, he realized that the innocent Margaret was gone. personally I think this happens when a person grows up and changes his way of thinking, living and discovers new interests … it happens when we are teenagers as is happening to all of us.

  7. I like this story very much because it teaches that prejudices often turn out to be wrong. History explains the differences between the north and south of England. The North is described as a Hell, while the South as a better place. Margaret, from the South, comes to no longer want to return to the South because she is too tied to the North and to feel that her soul no longer belonged to the South. In my opinion, as this story teaches, most of the time prejudice is a mistake , towards places, people and everything that is unknown.

  8. Margaret once arrived in the northern town of Milton she thinks she’s in a terrible place, in fact it’s full of smoke, so dark and really very different from the green place she came from. However her change of life makes her grow, mature, but above it modifies her way of thinking. Change, in my opinion, is essential in life, to observe other points of view and not just one for life.

  9. The north and the south of England in the late nineteenth century are just like the Hell and the Heaven, two completely different world, situation, state of mind.
    And just like Dante did in the Divine Comedy travelling from one to other, change you.
    When Margaret went from the southern England to the north of England, she was almost paralized by it’s poverty, it was bad looking, everything was different or better say: Worst!!
    The past year we study the song of innocence and the song of experience and in my opinion passing from south to north was like growing up: in the bad and in the good way.
    When she went from south to north, she understands what living in a city with different need, with different opinion, with different way of thinking was. She opens her eye, because she pass from a innocent and pure lady, to a woman who had to stand up for herself, who had to compete with man. Because in the farm land, everything depend by your rank. You born and you die in the same way except if you marry somebody with a major rank, in city it was different, it was more innovative, you could be whatever you want, and that was good, but to do that you had to outdo the other stepping and standing on them.
    Margaret protecting Thornton not only went against the value of that period, where the men had to protect the women, but she let the people see something that was uncommon, doing something for somebody else, hurting herself, for nothing back. That act was a remnant of her purity, her innocence, that everybody lose staying in the city, because of the experience they have had in that situation.

  10. I wouldn’t describe the departure from the South Mrs Hale’s lost of innocence because, after what Milton reserved for her, what may have changed in her are the harsh reallity of the Industrial Revolution in England and her status, due to the fact that she’s likely to be married with Mr Thorthon: being her such a good catch at the time

  11. Moving northwards Margaret discovers the reality of the industrial world. In Milton even important men like Thornton had to get their hands dirty working and everyone is aware of the tragic situation of the workers. Margaret instead lived in a privileged situation in the south and this explains her shock and the great contrast that north and south have from her point of view. Since she is in Milton, Margaret makes friends, good and bad experiences, that mark and change her by completing her transition from girl to woman.

  12. I loved the story full of misunderstanding and I loved the story between Mr. Thornton and Margaret. Their kiss full of passion, to be honest, even if it was beautiful on screen, an also out of the reality, it was wonderful. Another thing I loved was their various “quarrels”, which remind me Pride and prejudice, that hatred and love that existed between them.

  13. When Margaret lived in the south she was very carefree thanks to the many colors that surrounded her. So when she moved to the north, a city opposite to the south, dirty, polluted by the many industries. She was a city where illnesses were very frequent and in fact it is well known that this change in her life put her in a lot of trouble. With the passage of time, Margaret too got used to it and understood how life was in the north and consequently she too changed.

  14. I think this series is very useful to make us understand the conditions of the England of the past.
    The north was like hell. Indeed Margaret arrived in Milton was terrified by what she saw and the polluted air she breathed, as she was inhabited by the healthy life, but as the days went by, she managed to adapt to the new kind of life.
    Another reason why I liked the series is that it teaches us that prejudices are wrong and not everything that appears to us is really like that, like the story between Margaret and Mr. Thornton.

  15. Margaret was very attached to the South, its landscapes, people and home. It was a great pain for her to move to a confused, unjust city, where people had to get their hands dirty to earn some money. In the end, this story taught us that everyone has different habits and over time you get used to everything. What seemed to Margaret at first an ugly and unfair place has now become her place and it is not easy for her to get away from there. Mr. Thorton, unlike Mr. Darcy, has always shown to be a humble and not presumptuous man; he always seemed like a gentleman to me. Mr Thorton has always shown that he has true feelings for Margaret and she eventually fell in love with him.

  16. The change from the north, described as hell and the south, described as heaven made Margaret change too, from an innocent lady to a woman, ready to marry and to live with Mr.Thornton. The experiences she faces in the north makes her more aware of the difficulties and the poverty of that time. While, in the south she was in an idyllic place, full of gentlemen, far away from illnesses and dangerous places that were very frequent in Milton.

  17. I’m sure Margaret’s transfer to Milton changed her personality, too. When she moved, she saw the real differences that the Industrial Revolution brought to England, for example, she discovered that Mr Thornton, although a very important man in your city, is completely different from the gentlemen of the South.

  18. margaret and mr thornton’s love story is of course unusual, they tried to refuse each other by at least they lost or maybe win. there were a lot of things of contrast between them like thornton’s mother or margaret’s prejudice of this man but their love won, and even if margaret didn’t feel like home there in the north i’m sure she will be.

  19. The move to the North changed Margaret’s personality, get used to seeing and living in an industrial city like Milton with the problems of his time, made Margaret a stronger person aware of the problems of life, of poverty

  20. It is only when Margaret goes back to Helstone that she truly realizes where she belongs. After living in Milton and experiencing the lifestyles of workers and masters, Margaret grows up, and she cannot go back. She is no more who she was when she lived in the south, in that colorful place. Living in Milton, in that grey and sad place full of poverty, made her realize that she was living in a fully innocent world in Helstone. She won’t go back to Helstone, rather she will go back to Milton with Mr Thorthon. Therefore, in my opinion, it can be said that when the Hale’s moved northwards, Margaret lost her innocence.

  21. When Margaret arrives in Milton she is immediately catapulted into a grey and smelly hell-like world, very different from her bright country in the south of England. This place will change Margaret deeply. When she meets Mr. Thortorn, her first impression is that Thorton is not a gentleman at all, she finds him rude and ineducated but then Margaret’s love for Mr Thornton will grow, despite her initial prejudices.
    When Margaret returns to Helstone, she is no longer able to appreciate that heavenly place because by now she has become a woman of the north well aware of the problems and poverty that afflict factory workers.

  22. Margaret Hale is an inspirational character of bravery, determination, and selflessness. She loses everything that she loves, yet she clings to her duty, to her faith in God, to hope. There are moments when she is filled with doubt and faithlessness, but Margaret perseveres to the very end. Elizabeth Gaskell has created a solid, strong character in Margaret Hale. Although Gaskell has also built a solid plot, she reveals an amazing insight into the depth of the sorrow of the soul. The pain and solitude are very tangible and understandable. Gaskell kills off many of the characters, and yet still retains an attitude of hope. Margaret is redeemed out of the pit of death and made new.

  23. Moving north changed Margaret profoundly. After having lived a Milton in fact and having experienced the lifestyle of workers and bosses, Margaret goes from being an innocent girl to a woman ready for marriage. Living in Milton, in that gray and sad place full of poverty, has made her realize that she lives in a completely innocent world in Helston. The north has changed her profoundly and for this reason she will never return to the south but will go to live with Mr Thornton in Milton.

  24. Moving north has profoundly changed Margaret. After living the tough factory life alongside Mr Thornton Margaret goes from being an innocent girl to a strong woman. Living in Milton showed her the great differences she lived in the south in her city. In fact, this was seen as an almost idyllic place, unlike the gloomy and sad air one breathed in Milton. The north has profoundly changed her and for this reason she will never return to the south but will go to live with Mr Thornton in Milton.

  25. Margaret was no longer an innocent lady or as Blake would say a lamb. When she came back to the South, everything was different, she had seen the worst face of the country. In fact she felt like she did no longer belong to the south, tittle-tattle became annoying compared to the tragic situation of workers in the north. Margaret realized how lucky she had been, and how boring was life in Helstone. In Milton she learned how to enjoy even little things, she did no longer need a big house or beautiful clothes to be fine.

  26. although there are some similarities between the two stories, the contexts in which they are set are completely different. In north and south, we can understand the situation that was in England. Margaret was born in the south in an “idyllic” scenario; when she moves northward she live this change as a shock, she moves on to an industrial scenario that look like hell, the scenario is dark and there is a lot of poverty. Margaret changed during the all series, she find herself in the north, thinking of her as innocent as she lived in the south

  27. Margaret is a well-rounded character, with a complex and fluid development, which demonstrates the author’s attention to her figure. Margaret becomes capable of accepting a completely different context without compromising her real, deep values. This shows how Elizabeth Gaskell loves her protagonist. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about Mr Thornton. Under the confusing layer of his beautiful romantic charm (initially seen by Margaret as a negative point) the man appears systematically unable to take a single good decision in any field of his life: Mr Thornton’s business fails, he does not prevent the strike, he hires the Irish in the mill provoking violent reactions, he gives up Mr Hale’s lessons, he proposes to Margaret even if he knows that she will probably refuse, he commits an abuse of power deciding not to investigate Margaret (I may sound a bit insensitive but, despite the great love, that is actually a crime) and he does not join Mr Bell’s speculation (and, doing so, not only does he lose all his wealth, but he also does not overcome the trauma of his father’s death). It is interesting to notice that the very few good decisions (for example hiring Higgins with all the positive consequences for the workers) derive, directly or indirectly, from Margaret. Please forgive my cruelty, but I found hilarious seeing the romantic hero, the strong self-made man, the passionate lover with the endless sideburns, saved by a presumptuous 20-year-old girl from the South.

    • Whereas I do agree with most of what you wrote, I disagree about Margaret’s stable and not compromised values.
      She does have a complex character development throughout the story, adapting slowly to the society she lives in and I do think that her wealth hasn’t completely turned her into a woman of the North, but her values do change, we have proof of it the moment she accepts and reciprocates Mr Thornton’s love; before then, she always thought of him as an unrefined, uneducated and violent man who did not know how to act accordingly, exposing his embarrassing and turbulent past.
      But if her values hadn’t changed, why did she accept his proposal then?
      I believe neither of them is perfect: Thornton makes many of mistakes, mostly as consequences of his pride and love for Miss Hale, whereas she makes mistakes because of her prejudice towards him and the Northern society.
      However, I do believe that Miss Hale’s character gets a deep and substantial development in the story and is very well written overall.

  28. I think this series perfectly describes the situation in the country at that time: the north and south were two completely different worlds and margaret immediately realizes it.
    Obviously she will be forced to adapt and this will be very complicated for her, because she was used to a much simpler lifestyle.
    So, for such an innocent girl, finding herself in the north, which is even compared to hell, must certainly be a terrible experience.

  29. I think the shift from the South to the North of Margaret changed her. This change from my point of view matured her precisely because going from the South to the North meant changing her life completely and she had to adapt.

  30. In “North and South”, the North is described attentively in its raw nature, an industrialized area in which the landscape is made up of mills, polluted rivers and darkness.
    In “Pride and Prejudice”, it is only described as a remote place in which the regiment is dislocated, essentially something aristocrats had nothing to do with.
    In reality, there is much more to it: workers lose their lives there due to the absence of sanitary norms in the mills, whereas the South is an idyllic place in which aristocracy thrives, not having to deal with the sadness and cruelty of the North.
    This leads to the transition being extremely hard on Miss Hale and her mother, as they both initially fail to understand how different northern society is, appearing hostile towards its odd customs.
    But despite the initial difficulties in settling in Milton, Margaret manages to adapt and evolve, overcoming the prejudices, losing her southern innocence, finally understanding the northern ways and becoming one of them.
    Her growth in Milton is proof that “North and South” is to be considered a bildungsroman, which is why I enjoyed it.

  31. To be honest when we spoke about North & South for the first times I saw and I thought that Margaret was an annoying person. This is because it was as if she put her interests in front of the others and as if she wanted to impose her ideas. Than, when I saw the following episodes my idea changed, and now I can say that I consider her as a good person. Contrary to what I thought she put the happiness of the others in front of everything, and she fought for the common good, for example when she defended Mr. Thorton from angry workers or when she spoke about the condition of workers in the factories to Mr. Thorton. Other important things that make me consider her as a good person is when she went to the house of Higgins to help Bessy and check her conditions or also when she wrote a letter to his brother because Margaret’s mother wanted to see him before she died. I think she should be a model to follow, also because she did all this in a moment of difficult, because she moved in a city completely different to the city where she lived and because her mother died.

  32. Margaret perfectly embodies the phenomenon of prejudice. As soon as she moved to the North she began to judge everyone and everything she came in contact with and she didn’t even try to understand different points of views. At the beginning she hated the North, it was dirty, chaotic and so different from the South. In contrast to the South, in Milton, the city she moved to, your heritage didn’t depend on your rank, you started from scratch and you were the one who had to build your own reputation by working hard like Thornton did. Since Margaret thought it was not respectable getting your hands dirty to earn something, she judged Thornton in a wrong way by thinking he wasn’t enough and he was not a gentleman. However, episode by episode, Margaret’s character developed and made a drastic change so at the end she decided to go back to the North and she completely changed her mind. She ends up marrying Thornton because she understands he is a real gentleman and she becomes a woman of the north.

  33. At the beginning of the series I didn’t like the main character of Margaret, I didn’t share the way she approached people and the new experience she was starting. But going on with the story to the end I really appreciated the change of perspective that he had both towards Thornton and towards life led in Milton. At first Margaret despises most of the things that occur to her in that environment, being used to a totally different life. She despises not only the environment and the city but also the people, starting with Thornton’s family. She starts to change his mind when she meets Higgins and his daughter Betty, thanks to them he will understand many fundamental human values ​​for life. The most evident change was in the relationship with Thornton, initially he despises him, says that he is not a gentleman because of his ways of doing and approaching, for example when he exposed his turbulent past to Margaret and her mother, but at the end she defines him a gentleman and they get married. Instead as far as Margaret’s character change is concerned, in the end we see that she becomes a real woman of the North, administering and investing the inheritance that Mr.Bell had left to her. Starting from the fact that she was a naive girl, she becomes a respectable woman ready for the life she will have to face.

  34. Thanks to this series i was able to understand the main differences between North and South in England. In fact, during that period, North and South were completely opposite, both in lifestyle and quality of life. The South, where Margaret came from, was represented as an idyllic place. In the North, on the other hand, there was a grey and dirty air.
    Another important thing that i appreciated in this series, is that it teaches us not to stop in front of prejudices. In fact, at the beginning of the series when Margaret arrived in Milton, she did not like the citizens of the city because they were rude to her but her point of view will change. We will see her change of thinking especially in the relationship that she will have with Bessy and, in the end, with Mr. Thornton.

  35. In these episodes we can find many differences between the North and the South of England due to Margaret’s point of view. The South is represented as an idyllic place where people are aristocratic, educated, brilliant and tasteful while the North is characterized by mills that pollute the landscape. It’s for this reason that is perceived as injust, dirty and it’s paragonized as hell.
    According to me this serie teaches that prejudices, an important theme in the story, often are wrong infact The North that Margaret had critized at beginning at the end had changed her profoundly.
    She matured and lost that innocence she had before her travel to Milton.

  36. The similar aspects of ‘North & South’ with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ are quite evident. Margaret could be one of Jane Austen’s female characters who was forced to leave her ‘heaven’ to end up in hell, the vision she has of the North. Also the love story between Margaret and Mr. Thornton follows the line between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth; the themes of pride and prejudice are important but in the case of Elizabeth Gaskell’s story the lack of understanding between the two characters is because they’re part of completely different worlds. With time they’ll be able to understand each other and Margaret will eventually fall in love too. Mr Thornton as Darcy hides his sensitive nature and is refused while big difference between the male characters of these stories is that Mr Thornton knows he will probably be rejected after his proposal to Margaret because he’s conscious that she doesn’t like him, while Mr Darcy is full of himself and thinks he will be surely accepted by Elizabeth.

  37. North and South is the title and also the main topic of Elizabeth Gaskell ‘s book and BBC’s TV Series. In “North and South” are shown two opposite worlds, with two opposite characters, who entered in contact and, despite all their differences, they found a way to understand each other. The BBC’s Series director did an amazing job to show how different this two worlds were, just by their images. The scene in the South was opened with a dance, all the colors were bright and there was a lot of light. This small details represent this place like a perfect paradise, while, on the other hand, North is represented like a true hell. The scene in the North started with the people working in the Mill, the colors were dark and the air was full of smoke and dust. Like North and South, also the main characters of the story, Mr.Thornton and Margaret, are two complete opposites. Margaret is a well-mannered instruited girl, who find the life in the North cruel and full of injustices. Thornton is a survivor, who works for making money for him and his family and has a very materialistic mind. At the beginning, this two found very hard to understand each other’s point of view, especially talking about Margaret. The woman who left her heavenly-like life in the South, to go on the materialistic and cruel world of the North. Margaret was full of prejudices at the beginning of the story and it’s interesting to see how she changes into the whole series. How she started to slowly understand a world that is very different from the place where she grew up and how she slowly started to understand Thornton, a person with a complete different mind.

  38. I really appreciated the series because it gives an accurate portarait of the England of the 19th century. Also the big differences between the north, industrialized and characterized by the new middle class, made up by tenant, shopkeepers and small landowners and the south, populated by aristocracy and landowners, are well highlighted. The director shows us immediately these differences by the wonder of Margareth when she arrives to Milton. I enjoyed the development of Margareth’s beahaviour, in fact, she was an haugthy woman from the south who refused John’s proposal for her prejudice, and she becomes a woman who makes her fortune and marries Mr.Thorthon because love.

    • With this series I maneged to understand the various differences between North and South of that period. I can only imagine how difficult it was for Margaret to get used to this new life in a completely diffrent context ( dirty and gray) than where she had lived (idyllic place) since that moment. Initially Margaret has a lot of prejudices towards Thorton, in fact she ignores his troubled past and all his sacrifices.
      For this reason his mother cannot accept the fact that Margaret reject her son.
      But as time goes by, living in this new place and in this new society, Margaret will slowly understand Thorton’s choice and his thoughts.
      In the end she will understand that she is in love with him and that she wants to stay in the North.

  39. At first impression the characters seemed to me very defined in the story and with a well marked character while in the course of the events they showed all their facets. Margaret immediately seemed to me the symbol of prejudice, she looked like a strongly aristocratic person and without half measures. But during the series I partially changed my mind, mr Thorton in my opinion is a good person but unable to prove it also because of his past, initially I did not like him too but I changed my mind. both faced difficult times and choices but managed to make the most of it and live happily

  40. I like very much the story, because i think there are very topical issues like the ability to adapt to changes, as Margaret moving from the South,described as heaven, to the North that instead reminds the hell, adapting to a completely different system and society than that of Helstone. I also very much appreciated the story for the love and relationship that was formed between Margaret and Mr. Thorthon that had to regain the confidence initially lost because of his attitudes.

  41. At the beginnin the choice of the Margaret’s father to move from the South to the North caused her a great sadness. She used to live in a place which seems like heaven, full of nature and colors. The North instead to her eyes look like hell. It was dirty, gray, injust. And also the people were different: uneducated and tasteless. But over the time, Margaret lived a real change. She learned to understand the North and his people. Indeed when she returned to the south she realized that she had idealized the memory of it. Instead the North, deeply influenced by the industrial revolution, and its inhabitants, so rude, were more real and reflected the reality of England of that time.

  42. This is a story about contrast, be it between the heavenly South and hellish North, or it’s people’s lives.

    The difference is stark.
    Obvious and clear.
    Like, an idyllic dream made inside a thin layered bubble that, suddenly but irrevocably, bursts when pricked by the harsh reality.
    This, is the sentiment that probably echoes in our protagonist’s mind; Margareth that lived in a fantasy that is there no longer.
    A dreary atmosphere.
    Something incomprehensible for her, so used to a totally different life, made of refined gentlemen and ladies alike.

    But, be it a unconsciously slow process, she begins to change.
    And suddenly, she is not the same either.
    With being in contact with that society, it’s problems and limits.
    Or firsthandendly witness it’s struggles, living them on her own skin and making them burn deep into her heart, and she adapts.

    Just like people do best.

    An inked stain that makes it’s way into what one’s really is, in that present moment.

    Changing it from what is a sheet of pure white paper, into something else entirely.

    She too loses her innocence, in a way that is no different from everyone’s growing up.

  43. Gaskell’s novel reminds us in some ways Pride and Prejudice of Jane Austen.We can see a similarity between the female characters; Margaret and Elizabeth are clever, very beautiful and well educated but, they are full of prejudices. We can also reconnect to the scene of the proposal that is present in both novels; on one hand we have Mr Darcy’s proposal and on the other hand Mr Thornton’s proposal. These characters are quite similar but, unlike Thornton who knows that Margaret will refuse him, Mr Darcy has no doubt he will be accepted (will not be so). In both cases, prejudice is the biggest obstacle.
    Anyways, coming back to the novel, in my opinion it could be considered a coming-of-age story : Margaret when she arrives at Milton is clearly unconfortable, she doesn’t know how to act, she regrets Helstone and the South in general where everything seems to be perfect like heaven while Milton, with its polluted and grey air, makes her feel in hell. However, we can clearly see how, as time goes on, she starts to understand and even appreciate the North, indeed when she comes back at Helstone she understands that her heaven like place does not exist anmore, because she’have changed.

  44. The differences between north and south were perfectly illustrated thanks to small strategic subtleties such as the use of colors or even the expressions of the characters, and the figure of Margaret has acted as a guide in this new world that she so despised but which in the end she will choose as her path in life.The script of the series perfectly represented the company at the time, thus making it clear what the atmosphere was at that time.The figure of Thornton it’s very complex , initially he represents a serious and authoritarian figure without ever showing his moral side;subsequently later after Margaret’s arrival in Milton, changes his way of appearing in the serie.His sentimental character begins to emerge, especially towards Marget and towards Maragret’s father, Thornton was very attached to mr Hale and he reflected in him the values ​​of his lost father.Thornton’s mother is an overbearing and arrogant figure as if she didn’t care about anything except her son , she is full of prejudices in fact she immediately sees Margaret with a bad opinion of her , especially after she rejects her son but, she too will later prove to be an empathic person especially in the scene where Margaret’s mother dying is shown.

  45. Margaret, from the first scenes appears to us as a whole different person; she embodies the perfect woman from the South: beautiful, well educated, intelligent. The South is pictured as a heaven-like place, she was living her life like in a dream, everything was like she always used to be used since she was born. But one day she had to move to the North and suddenly her perfect world got replaced by a dirty, hostile and merciless one. All at once her routine, people, friends, and places of a whole life changed. She took several years to better understand the northern working class conditions and get used to a totally different lifestyle. This unexpected experience deeply changed her both outside and, mostly, inside and finally that took down her old prejudices. At the end we can see a wholly different Margaret , no longer a shallow, arrogant woman, but stronger and more independent, resembling a northern one.

  46. in history the differences between north and south are perfectly highlighted, not only in the economic but also in the social sphere. this distinction is between the two main characters of the tale margaret and mr thorton who are completely different. margaret comes from the south, she is a girl who gives a lot of importance to prejudices and first impressions, as we see when she defines thorton as a rude and not a gentleman because of his business. despite this she maintains a linear profile with her ideas. mr thorton instead is an apparently cruel, selfish man who does not care about others and this attitude makes him fail in his work and also abuses his power as a magistrate. despite this, thanks to margaret he makes better choices and despite a first refusal by the girl in the end the two get married.

  47. It’s interesting how Margaret change as she moved to the north with his family. She went from the “heaven like” Helstone, described with brilliant colours and beautiful images of the town, so as she arrives to Milton Station she realizes that Milton was the completely opposite of Helstone, not only the scenario but also the type of people are completely different. The South is mostly aristocratic and seeing so much poorness and dramatic situations shocked Margaret, who understand that her life there would not be so easy. This significant revise of her point of view has changed her personality in a deep way during the series, in fact at the end she get used to the situation and start the process to transform into a woman of the North, wich ends when Margaret inherits Mr Bell’s money and properties.

  48. The story helped me to understand the differences between North and south and i can see this in the characters of the story. For example Margaret Is a young girl Who base her ideas on prejudices because She Is educated and Want to Marry a gentleman and Thornton for her Is not a gentleman. He is cruel and uneducated but at the end they got married and the story end in the best way.

  49. The story helped me to understand the differences between north and south and i can see this in the characters of the story. For example, Margaret Is a young girl who base her ideas on prejudices because she Is educated and want to marry a gentleman, and Thornton for her Is not a gentleman. He is cruel and uneducated but at the end they got married and the story end in the best way. Margaret helped Thornton to make better decision, she changed in part his mind.

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