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What are they going to strike for? Thornton, with a fierce snort. But I have no doubt they will. But surely you are not a coward, are you? Milton is not the place for cowards. And when I had got in, I could not get out. It was as much as my life was worth. So I went up to the roof, where there were stones piled ready to drop on the heads of the crowd, if they tried to force the factory doors.

And I would have lifted those heavy stones, and dropped them with as good an aim as the best man there, but that I fainted with the heat I had gone through. If you live in Milton, you must learn to have a brave heart, Miss Hale. She will soon prove herself brave — but also impulsive, imprudent and prejudiced — in the episode of the attack to Marlborough Mill when she will finally shield Mr Thornton against the fury of the mob with her own body chapter XXII, A Blow and its Consequences. On that very occasion both Margaret and Mrs Thornton are entrapped in the house and hear the fury of the crowd of workers approaching the mill, but both refuse to find a refuge upstairs, both firmly reject the invitation to protect themselves and show a similar temper while facing danger.

Mrs Thornton has been embittered by the tragic events in her life her husband killed himself leaving her and two young children face the consequences of his bankruptcy. Margaret Hale is an inspirational example of bravery, determination, and selflessness. She loses everything that she loves, yet she clings to her duty, to her faith in God, to hope.

Margaret is not one to shirk responsability. Her journey through the story is incredibly tragic but she never loses her faith nor stops fighting for what she believes in. In a Freudian, psychoanalytical reading of the story, it is obvious that John has chosen a partner so very similar to his mother, which shows he could be mother-fixated Oedipus complex. But that makes everything so terribly sad and unromantic! Do you think John falls for Margaret because she reminds him his mother?

And most of all, do you think Margaret Hale and Mrs Thornton get along well in the end? Definitely opens up the floor to even more discussion…. I just wanted to suggest a reflection about the two Mrs Thornton, the old one and the young one.

North & South BBC 2004 white hell - Mr. Thornton in the Mill

Several months ago, I watched North and South for the first time. I had to read the book to learn how it matched up to the series. Margaret and Hannah are both very strong women, and I agree that John is drawn to Margaret because her strength reminds him of his mother. Margaret has a warmth about her that Hannah does not.

I feel that, although he highly regards his mother, John was searching for this personality trait in his prospective mate. In my version of North and South, John and Margaret returned to his home to share the news of their impending nuptials with Hannah. Although there were occasional clashes between the two women, they respected each other and lived peacefully together.

The best I can hope is that one of my daughters-in-law will enjoy my company. At this point, none are married, and only the youngest is dating.


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Yet when I look for similarities between myself and Jessica, I am stumped. She is so beautiful, and artistic, and capable—much more so than I. And yet with so much going for her, she lacks confidence and leans on Ben for companionship and support. It took a while for the truth to hit me. Jessica is me all over again. Capable and yet self-critical. Having it all, she doubts herself and is easily discouraged. Poor darling, how well I understand.

John admires Margaret for her bold strength and determination, traits his mother also exemplifies.

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He needs a woman of fortitude to stand by his side. Although it may take some time for Hannah to let go of her grudge against Margaret, I think she would learn to appreciate her daughter-in-law once she witnessed for herself how much she adored and esteemed her son.

The discussion here is turning quite interesting! Thanks Viki, Laura and Trudy for contributing your very personal visions of Margaret, Mrs Thornton and their relationship. I particurly appreciate the possibility of comparing impressions on reading and watching! That really makes me grow as a reader, a watcher and a woman.

Ive often wondered about that and think custom would dictate that Johns mom still has seniority over Margaret in the household. I have total confidence that Margaret has the patience like she showed with her father and Dixon to get along with Mrs. Thornton — no doubt there will be differences of opinion particularly when it comes to raising the children … I suspect Mr. To answer the last question, not exactly. He falls in love with the whole package that is Margaret, not just the parts similar to his mother.

Her soft southern appearance and manners do captivate him, and he strength secures him. T as being shyly awkward between the two strong women meeting as he is a tower of strength himself. I remember loving how Gaskell had John stand up for Margaret to his mother and Fanny repeatedly—not embarrassed by his feelings, but fully acknowledging them.


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I think he would make it clear that he expected his mother to make room for Margaret, period. And she would. Initially, Gaskell wanted the title of the novel to be Margaret Hale , but Charles Dickens , the editor of Household Words , the magazine in which the novel was serialized, insisted on North and South. Margaret was a character created to challenge stereotypes about women's role in the 19th century.

John Thornton Meets Miss Hale, Mill Owner

The theme of challenging stereotypes is one which is integral throughout the novel. Margaret Hale is nineteen years old and before she was 10, lived in Helstone in Hampshire, in the south of England , with her parents—Richard, a Anglican minister , and Maria—and older brother, Frederick. When she was nine years old, Margaret was sent to live in London with her aunt, Mrs Shaw, and cousin. Edith and Margaret were the same age, and became fast friends. Frederick, meanwhile, joined the Royal Navy. Once at sea, he took part in a mutiny against his cruel captain. The Hales realized that Frederick, branded a traitor, would be hanged if he ever returned to England.

When the girls grew up, Edith married Capt. Lennox had a younger brother, Henry, who became infatuated with Margaret. She rejected his advances, and chose to move back to Helstone. Mr Hale, however, had begun to question his faith and the doctrines laid out in the Book of Common Prayer. When asked to renew his vows by the bishop, Mr Hale could not.

Quitting his profession, Mr Hale moved his wife and daughter to Milton, in the north of England, where he took up work as a tutor.

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One of Mr Hale's pupils is a local mill owner, John Thornton. Margaret takes an instant dislike to Thornton, seeing him as the embodiment of the harsh, working-class north. Margaret, feeling homesick , romanticizes the south. Mr Thornton, on the other hand, is immediately struck by Margaret. He had heard that Mr. Hale had a daughter, but he had imagined that she was a little girl. The workers in all of the mills around Milton are dissatisfied and strike. As the strikers grow desperate, a mob of workers comes to the Thornton's house, where Margaret is calling on Mrs Thornton, John's mother, and his sister Fanny.

Thornton goes out to speak to the rioters at Margaret's behest. Afraid that they will kill him, Margaret rushes out to Thornton. Margaret believes that no one would try to hurt a woman, and throws her arms around Thornton, to protect him. Margaret is mistaken, however.


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  8. A rock is thrown from the crowd by a "group of lads", and Margaret is knocked out. Mrs Thornton, who is wary of Margaret and her son's affection for her, surmises that Margaret acted as she did out of love for Mr Thornton. She tells her son so, and Thornton proposes to Margaret.

    Margaret insists that it was her responsibility to save him because she had sent him out to talk to the men, and that she would have done the same thing for any other "poor desperate man in that crowd". Mrs Hale, even less happy to be in Milton than Margaret, is dying. She wants to see Frederick one last time, so Margaret secretly writes to him in Spain, where he has been living.

    Margaret Hale

    Frederick comes to visit the Hales in Milton, and manages to stay hidden before she dies. When Margaret takes Frederick to the train station, to get him out of Milton; they are seen by three people. The first, Mr Thornton, sees Margaret with an unknown man "with whom she had stood in an attitude of such familiar confidence".

    Margaret sees him watching her, and spends much of the rest of the novel bearing the guilt of having fallen from Thornton's regard. The other man who sees the Hale siblings is a man named Leonards.

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    He knows that there is a bounty on Frederick's head, and tries to grab him. The two struggle and Leonards is tripped and falls onto the side of the railroad. Fatally injured, he dies the next morning.