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A Gradual Decline In Prejudice Between Places And People In North And South

537 words - 2 pages

A Gradual Decline in Prejudice between Places and People in North and South

Through her characterizations of the two main characters in Margaret
Hale and John Thornton, Elizabeth Gaskell develops a transition from
prejudice to love. She reveals their inner most thoughts through an
omniscient third person narrative to allow the audience to empathise
with their feelings. The Characters develop through dialogue because
they dispute over the North and South divide and try to distance
themselves from each other. But despite their prejudices love prevails
because of the actions of good will shown by Margaret, which John
interprets to be feelings of love. The audience is satisfied that they
have found a general cause which is sufficient to counteract the forms
of prejudice depicted in the novel, and that cause is love.

The fundamental theme of prejudice in the story is location. Gaskell
contrasts the North and South almost as if they were two entirely
different countries. Helstone is a sunny place, and the days are lazy
and care free for Margaret. As they approach Milton there is the
imagery of a "deep lead-coloured cloud". This metallic dark imagery
develops a negative sense of the town, as a reader would think of this
image cognitively as dark and gloomy. Mrs Hale had a preliminary
regard for the town which was confirmed upon seeing the gloom of the
town. "You can't think the smoky air of a manufacturing town, all
chimneys and dirt like Milton-Northern, would be better than this air,
which is pure and sweet"

Margaret detests the cultural aspects of Milton; she does not like the
wallpaper or the architecture. The people in the town would make,
"loud laughs and jests, particularly aimed at all those who appeared

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