I am still on chapter four but I feel that Gaskell is creating a headstrong, defiant, beautiful and independent heroine in Mary. She reminds me a bit of Margaret Hale from North and South. It is interesting that Mr. Barton does not want his daughter to work in the factory because of his dislike for the toil on her life and laboring for a rich class that he feels does not help working people but Mary (the daughter).
I really did enjoy the narration of the story because it took the feelings and thoughts of the characters yet added more information which made the progress of the plot understandable. I appreciate Elizabeth Gaskell’s treatment of workers plight in the factories and their meager, dieing conditions at home.
I feel that Gaskell took an event, gave it an introduction and end which in opinion made it a very good story. After she covered the tension between the workers and the factory owners in relation to the workers progression into the Unions, she used the aftermath of one of the characters death to show closure and healing. I heart Jem! He is my favourite character in “Mary Barton.’ A man of courage, loyalty and love.
The contrast between Mary’s feelings for Jem and Carson Jr. is a good aside if not main journey to the story. I am happy that Mary had to feel the pain in certain situations because she made decisions that resulted in heartache for some many. Speaking on heartaches, the deaths in the story at first left me questioning and uncertain but I realize :
1. It is a Victorian Period
2. The death played part in the movement of the plot in relationship to closure (the two last chapters made my heart weep).