By T. Wright
This new learn bargains with the total diversity of Gaskell's fiction, drawing close her as a deeply poetic novelist and short-story author. between subject matters coated are girls and the construction of the self, demise and private integrity, the prestige of phrases as utterance and the form and that means of person lives. whereas seeing her as a manufactured from her age, Wright transcends slender categorisations of her paintings to learn her 'whole' as a sophisticated exponent of the values of a humane realism.
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Extra info for Elizabeth Gaskell: 'We Are Not Angels': Realism, Gender, Values
His thoughts were running on little Tom; on the dead and buried child of happier years. He followed the sound of wail, that might have been his, and found a poor little mortal, who had lost his way, and whose grief had choked up his thoughts to the single want, 'Mammy, mammy'. With tender address, John Barton soothed the little laddie, and with beautiful patience he gathered fragments of meaning from the half spoken words which came mingled with sobs from the terrified little heart. (MB 251) The epithet 'poor little mortal' suggests a common humanity, his grief 'chok[ing] up his thoughts to one single want' speak of immediate self-absorption, and it is, like his daughter, im- Realising Christianity: Mary Barton 35 mediate relief that Barton brings, calling on the memory of his own dead child.
The incident occurs after he has left Barton, prostrated by the effort of confession and all the weight of guilt he has borne for so long, but above all crushed by Mr Carson's blasphemous words and the 'blasphemous action' conveyed by them: 'Let my trespasses be unforgiven, so that I may have vengeance for my son's murder' (436). He tries to regain his balance of mind, in which he can remain satisfied with his own justness, and witnesses a little scene in which a delicate 'fairy child' is knocked down by an unheeding 'rough, rude errand-boy'.
Don't think to come over me with the old tale, that the rich know nothing of the trials of the poor. I say, if they don't know, they ought to know. We are their slaves as long as we can work; we pile up their fortunes with the sweat of our brows; and yet we are to live as separate as if we were in two worlds; ay, as separate as Dives and Lazarus, with a great gulf betwixt us: but I know who was best off then. (MB 45) The context into which the telling truth of these rhetorical questions is put is Christian.