Essay on Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton

1295 Words Apr 16th, 2006 6 Pages
Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton Although the people of a single nation share the same homeland, contradictory these people live in separate worlds. In the lives of the privileged and the unfortunate they are separated between their positions in the social ladder, which is defined by their financial stability. In Elizabeth Gaskell's, Mary Barton the different worlds of the wealthy is contrasted to those of the poor. Gaskell's attention to detail emphasizes the division among the two social classes, demonstrating the lavish and luxurious lives of the upper class as it is contrasted to those of the impoverish and disheartening lives of the lower class, while also developing characterization, illustrating the character's reactions to the …show more content…
With Gaskell's descriptive details, the wealth of the Carson family is made concrete: "Mr. Carson's house was a good house, and furnished with disregard to expense. But in addition to lavish expenditure, there was much taste shown, and many articles chosen for their beauty and elegance. Adorned his rooms" (10-14). The Carson's are seen as having expensive and tasteful choices in the furniture that adorn their house, expensive and tasteful choices, which they can obviously afford. Not only can they afford the posh house, but also multiple servants at their beck and call. The Carsons are rich enough to pay someone else to do the work around the house and ultimately take care of them, such as making breakfast. "The servants [were] very busy with preparations for breakfast" (18-19). The Carson's wealthy is, again, seen through the fully stocked kitchen that the servants are working in, a "kitchen hung round with glittering tins, where roaring fire burnt merrily, and where numbers of utensils hung round" (22-24). The servants are also in an environment where there are mouth-watering "broiled steaks, […] toasted bread, and boiled eggs" (28-29). The Carsons are wealthy enough to have such a fulfilling meal, and it is only just for breakfast; there is still lunch and dinner and perhaps, snacks in between. As a representation of the lower class, Wilson and the servants would be lucky