How Elizabeth Gaskell Manipulates the Readers Feelings in The Half Brothers

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How Elizabeth Gaskell Manipulates the Readers Feelings in The Half Brothers 'The Half-Brothers" is a story written in the mid-1900's by a middle-class Victorian writer called Elizabeth Gaskell. She has a strong moral interest in the difficulties of poor people who lived in abject poverty. This is what inspired her to write stories such as "The Half-Brothers". Some of her characters in this short story are described in such a way as to provoke sympathy and admiration for them from the reader. However other characters have much more depth to them and are more complicated. The suspense she creates in the particularly dramatic episode set in the Fells in the north of England also manipulates the reader's feelings. The first…show more content…
She has to undergo all these tragedies all in such a short and concentrated period of time long before she should have to and this again elicits our pity for her. Helen is described as being a very isolated character and this is continually emphasised by repeating it. Her living space is described as a 'lonesome dwelling' and at the funeral of her youngest daughter "neighbours, my aunt and one far off cousin" were "all the friends they could muster" The pathetic fallacy "dreary winter" reflects what is going in her life. The harshness of the weather reflects the harshness of the weather reflects the harshness occurring in her life. Her marriage to Preston is in one sense a good thing as she will now be able to provide for her son, Gregory. However she does not love Preston. We pity Helen because she is committing herself to someone she does not want to be with just to support her son. The quotation "Aunt Fanny heard her cry as if her heart was breaking" reinforces this point. There is also at least a 20-year age gap between Helen and Preston. He is old enough to be her father and had known the narrator's grandfather well. He was 'long past forty' and she had 'not seen her four and twentieth summer' suggesting that they are the perfect mismatch for each other, but even so Helen is looking out for the best interest of her child. In her deathbed tableau there is a sad irony. One of her first smiles was right before she

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