[From "'What Must Not be Said': North and South and the Problem of Women's Work," by Catherine Barnes Stevenson, Professor of English, University of Hartford.]

Margaret, noted for speaking her mind, is repeatedly cast into the role of mediator, of "word bearer" (for women's role as "word bearers" see Homans 226). For example, she is forced to tell her mother about the momentous changes that her father has set in motion but cannot explain to his wife. She faces an angry mob to speak for both the helpless Irish workers who are about to be attacked and the stubbornly silent John Thornton. Furthermore, like her author who tries to make readers see both sides of an argument, Margaret attempts to educate each side in the labor dispute about the others' points of view. She cites Nicholas Higgins's opinions to Thornton and vice versa.


Victorian Web Overview Elizabeth Gaskell North and South

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