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Elizabeth Gaskell's "Wives And Daughters" Essay

1738 words - 7 pages

Elizabeth Gaskell was the most established female figure in Victorian British Literature. By the time she blossomed into a literary career, she was thirty-eight years old. Most of her novels centered on the plight of the working people in England struggling to survive and dealing with the social stigma of class and wealth. Even though she received harsh criticism from critics for having sympathy for the poor, it didn’t deter her from a successful writing career, nor deny her talent as a writer. In her last work Wives and Daughters; Gaskell implements her satire writing style to examine social issues in England. In August of 1864, Cornhill Magazine published her first novel called, Wives and Daughters.
Brief Summary of Wives and Daughters:
In the story of Wives and Daughters, Molly Gibson is the much-loved daughter of a widowed town doctor. Dr. Gibson is yearning for a companion as well as a mother figure of his seventeen-year-old daughter Molly.
Squire Hamley and his disable wife are close friends to Molly and her father. On occasion, Molly would spend time with the Hamley’s who lover as if she was one of their own children. The Hamley’s have two son’s inspiring to be scholars of science at Cambridge University. Squire and his wife, dote on their oldest son Osborne because they consider him to be a genius with a guarantee successful future and riches. On the other hand, Roger is portrayed as a passive vessel that won’t amount to nothing more than a good lad with no grand success in his future. The youngest son Roger returned home from Cambridge to report news about the oldest son, Osborne and his failure to meet the standards of the scholars at Cambridge. When Molly’s eyes met Roger’s lovely face, she quickly became enchanted with him.
While Molly was staying with Squire Hamley and his wife, Dr. Gibson quietly courted Governess Hyacinth and quickly proposed marriage to her. When Molly learned of her father’s upcoming nuptials to Hyacinth, she became distraught over the fact that this will alter the bond she has with her father. Without hesitation, Molly expressed her concerns and dislikes of marrying again without consulting with her. After Roger comforted Molly, he address that she should give Hyacinth a chance because hating her accomplishes nothing but discomfort her. Molly returned home to accept her father’s decision to marry Governess Hyacinth. Her father tells her that she’s going to have a sister to love. The news of having a stepsister close to her own age excited Molly. With Hyacinth’s daughter moving to the quiet and dainty town of Hollingsford, it will be turned upside down from her rambunctious attitude and wicked tongue. When Hyacinth daughter arrives to Hollingsford, she wastes no time in getting into trouble. Cynthia is a manipulating person who uses her womanly wilds to lure men into her clutches, only to sever their hearts from their chest and place it on a plate in front of them. No man can resist Cynthia’s...

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