Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Half-Brothers by Elizabeth Gaskell Essay -- Papers

The Half-Brothers by Elizabeth Gaskell This story, The Half-Brothers, written by Elizabeth Gaskell is set in 19th century Cumberland. This story is based on some of things that happened in Mrs Gaskell's life such as her losing her children. The half brothers are Gregory and his younger brother whose name we never find out. Their mother loses her first husband and she re-marries William Preston. Their mother, Helen, dies in childbirth leaving Gregory to be brought up by his stepfather. Even though he had been badly treated by him, Gregory shows throughout that he is a true Christian. Mrs Gaskell in this story makes Helen into a very sympathetic character. The very first sentence 'My mother was twice married' is made to make us feel sympathy for her because we know that something bad must have happened in her first marriage but we don't know what it is until later on in the paragraph. Helen is also made a sympathetic character by Mrs Gaskell listing a series of dreadful events that happened to Helen. Saying how young she is 'She was barely seventeen' makes us feel sympathetic for Helen knowing that she is young and helpless. We also begin to think from this that she is too young to be married. The grief occurs when she loses her husband and she is left to look after a young child on her own. She was only just able to walk. We begin to think things are getting better for her when her sister comes to help her. They had a plan. 'They plotted how to make every penny they could'. Everything goes wrong. 'The farm on her hands for four years or more by the lease'. We feel sympathy for her knowing that she has too much to cope with on h... cope with in such a short space of time. Another sentimental point is all the things that happened to Helen, such as her losing most of her family and becoming helpless. Sentimentality is formed from William Preston's last request. We know that he really is deeply sorry for the way he treated Gregory. The description of Gregory's body when he dies is very easy to make a picture in your head because it is described so detailed. I don't think the story is over-emotional or exaggerated. It is written very well and the sentimental parts of the story are brought out and expressed well. Sentimental means that something is dear to you and that it means something to you. The things that happen to Helen in the story are very closely related to things that happened in Mrs Gaskell's life and therefore are sentimental to her.

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