ISBN-10:
1405867817
ISBN-13:
9781405867818
Pub. Date:
01/21/2009
Publisher:
Pearson Education ESL
North and South, Level 6, Penguin Reader / Edition 1

North and South, Level 6, Penguin Reader / Edition 1

by Pearson Education, Mary Tomalin

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Overview

Mary Gaskell's North and South examines the nature of social authority and obedience and provides an insightful description of the role of middle class women in nineteenth century society. Through the story of Margaret Hate, a southerner who moves to the northern industrial town of HiLton, Gaskell skillfully explores issues of class and gender, as Margaret's sympathy for the town mitt workers conflicts with her growing attraction to the mitt owner, John Thornton. This new and revised expanded edition sets the novel in the context of Victorian social and medical debate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405867818
Publisher: Pearson Education ESL
Publication date: 01/21/2009
Series: Penguin Readers: Level 6
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in 1810, but she spent her formative years in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and the north of England. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell, who became well known as the minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Manchester’s Cross Street. As well as leading a busy domestic life as minister’s wife and mother of four daughters, she worked among the poor, traveled frequently and wrote. Mary Barton (1848) was her first success.

Two years later she began writing for Dickens’s magazine, Household Words, to which she contributed fiction for the next thirteen years, notably a further industrial novel, North and South (1855). In 1850 she met and secured the friendship of Charlotte Brontë. After Charlotte’s death in March 1855, Patrick Brontë chose his daughter’s friend and fellow-novelist to write The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), a probing and sympathetic account, that has attained classic stature. Elizabeth Gaskell’s position as a clergyman’s wife and as a successful writer introduced her to a wide circle of friends, both from the professional world of Manchester and from the larger literary world. Her output was substantial and completely professional. Dickens discovered her resilient strength of character when trying to impose his views on her as editor of Household Words. She proved that she was not to be bullied, even by such a strong-willed man.

Her later works, Sylvia’s Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis (1864) and Wives and Daughters (1866) reveal that she was continuing to develop her writing in new literary directions. Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly in November 1865.

Patricia Ingham is senior research fellow and reader at St. Anne's College, Oxford. She is the general editor of Thomas Hardy's fiction in Penguin Classics and edited Gaskell's North and South for the series.

Reading Group Guide

1. Why do Margaret’s parents allow her to shoulder such heavy burdens – her father’s crisis of faith and her mother’s illness – at such a young age?

2. Why does Margaret not tell her mother and father about Mr Lennox and Mr Thornton’s proposals? Why does she have to wait to be asked directly by her father?

3. 'North and South explores themes that still seem strikingly modern' (Daily Mail). Do you think that the attitudes expressed in the novel about the north and south divide are relevant today?

4. Why is Margaret prejudiced against the industrialists of the time? How important is social class to the novel?

5. Who is the better Mother – Mrs Hale, Mrs Thornton or Mrs Shaw?

6. The scene where Margaret stands between Mr Thornton and the striking workers is a turning point in the tale. What motivates Margaret’s to put herself in this vulnerable - both emotionally and physically - situation?

7. Margaret is a strong female heroine. Do you think this is unusual in a Victorian novel? Why does Elizabeth Gaskell contrast Margaret so dramatically with the other girls of her age in the book for example Edith, Fanny and Bessy?

8. The original title of the book was Margaret Hale and it was only under pressure from her publishers that Gaskell changed the title to North and South. Do you think this was the right decision to make? Do you think you would read the novel differently if it had its original title?

9. Elizabeth Gaskell describes Mr Thornton as ‘large and strong and tender, and yet a master’. Do you agree with her description? Can you be tender and a master? Does Mr Thornton prove this?

10. Was Margaret right to lie to the police officer? Do you think she should have told Mr Thornton the truth straight away?

11. Look at Margaret’s relationship with the Higginses and compare it to Mr Thornton’s relationship to them. What are the differences and the similarities? Who gains the most from the connection – Margaret, Mr Thornton or the Higgins?

12. Both Margaret and Thornton know that their families will not approve of the marriage. Are they right to marry? Can they be happy?

Foreword

1. Why do Margaret’s parents allow her to shoulder such heavy burdens – her father’s crisis of faith and her mother’s illness – at such a young age?

2. Why does Margaret not tell her mother and father about Mr Lennox and Mr Thornton’s proposals? Why does she have to wait to be asked directly by her father?

3. 'North and South explores themes that still seem strikingly modern' (Daily Mail). Do you think that the attitudes expressed in the novel about the north and south divide are relevant today?

4. Why is Margaret prejudiced against the industrialists of the time? How important is social class to the novel?

5. Who is the better Mother – Mrs Hale, Mrs Thornton or Mrs Shaw?

6. The scene where Margaret stands between Mr Thornton and the striking workers is a turning point in the tale. What motivates Margaret’s to put herself in this vulnerable - both emotionally and physically - situation?

7. Margaret is a strong female heroine. Do you think this is unusual in a Victorian novel? Why does Elizabeth Gaskell contrast Margaret so dramatically with the other girls of her age in the book for example Edith, Fanny and Bessy?

8. The original title of the book was Margaret Hale and it was only under pressure from her publishers that Gaskell changed the title to North and South. Do you think this was the right decision to make? Do you think you would read the novel differently if it had its original title?

9. Elizabeth Gaskell describes Mr Thornton as ‘large and strong and tender, and yet a master’. Do you agree with her description? Can you betender and a master? Does Mr Thornton prove this?

10. Was Margaret right to lie to the police officer? Do you think she should have told Mr Thornton the truth straight away?

11. Look at Margaret’s relationship with the Higginses and compare it to Mr Thornton’s relationship to them. What are the differences and the similarities? Who gains the most from the connection – Margaret, Mr Thornton or the Higgins?

12. Both Margaret and Thornton know that their families will not approve of the marriage. Are they right to marry? Can they be happy?

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