Essay on Elizabeth Gaskell 's ' Mary Barton ' And Its ' Irrelevant '

1078 Words Jul 6th, 2015 5 Pages
The article highlights the critical disclaims of Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’ and its ‘irrelevant’ subplots, subplots Stoneman expresses present the maternal relationship between a child and father, the latter of whom emits a feminine tenderness consequent of the harsh middle class environment.

Mary Barton determines morale in correspondence with class, reflecting upon the invasion of the industrial revolution within rural surroundings. Stoneman explores how these events affect the working class whom have adopted predominantly female roles, such as infant care, and their middle class counterparts whose privilege and fortune allows them to maintain a ‘masculine morality’[1]. The idea that morals are determined by social position suggests that the feminisation of male characters is forced upon them by a lack of opportunities, this can be observed when John Barton aggressively exclaims ‘I don’t want money, child! Damn their charity and their money! I want work, and it is my right.’[2] In comparison, Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ exhibits the same distinction of class with characteristics, for example, in the beginning of the novel, Mr Reed declares Jane ‘less then a servant’[3], setting the callous tone of the upperclass males, with no value for maternal care. Chapters later, the introduction of Mr. Brocklehurst recites from the bible ‘Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven’.[3] A character who…

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