In chapters 15-17, Elizabeth Gaskell uses "North and South" to voice various opinions of relations between the factory workers and owners. Discuss this theme in the light of the novel as a whole.

Essay by daniiHigh School, 12th gradeA-, March 2004

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In the novel North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, the rivalry between the workers and the masters of the factories begin from the unwillingness of both sides to communicated with each other, and therefore, resulting in their ignorance of the motives and views of the other and from that, the social divide becomes deeper, especially the upper classes looked down upon the lower classes and considered them worthless. However, this was also a period of time where there were general sentiments that something should be done about the situation of the poverty and misery of the working classes and also the environment. Gaskell often offers the reader an opportunity to sympathise with the poor and comprehend with the powerful and thus, unite the two social classes, hence the distinct purpose of the novel.

The objective of Chapter 15 is to inform the reader about Thornton's view from the perspective of a master, and also Margaret's Southern view and certain ignorance regarding the "battle" between the workers and factory owners in the industrial part of England.

Also, in this chapter, the reader is presented with there being a strike in the plot. The manner which Thornton speaks about the strike is somewhat cool, collected and abrupt, by using short sentences. The language that he utilises when referring to the workers is significant in the way it allows the reader to develop his point of views as a factory owner and Thornton also resembles the typical factory owner and their views, adding to Gaskell's picture to develop in the reader's mind of the whole situation. The vocabulary that is used by Thornton in regards to the workers is somewhat resentful and spiteful towards them, for example: "fools" and "conceit". These words are very sharp and harsh sounding and this adds to...