Hunter Jay
Hunter Jay asked:

Someone please tell me that Margaret grows a spine. I am so annoyed right now I want to stop reading. I can't take another self righteous victorian heroine.

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Trudy Brasure Mr. Thornton performs a hell of a lot of self-sacrifice as well. Why doesn't he also grow a spine? I'm acting as devil's advocate here to some degree, but I'm curious how working oneself to the bone for the sake of others can be interpreted as self-righteous and wimpy. Thornton and Margaret are a lot alike: they both struggle to support their families.
Christy Lau I know this is 2 years ago, and yet I can't help but think Margaret always had an iron spine from the first page. Her agreeing to leave Helstone was not merely compliance, but she herself believed it to be the best action. She could never bear to think her father a hypocrite much more than she could not bear to leave her home. And I believe (at least, this is the impression that I got), she was willing to tell her mother because her father, being such a coward, would have butchered the job. She would rather face the pain and lessen the collateral damage, than have her father face his cowardice and make everyone worse off. So I took it as a much more practical measure than her being weak-willed.
Doris In the Hale family, I found Margaret to be the strongest. Mr. Hale reduced their circumstances by standing by his conviction, but even that was wimpy. He relied on Mr. Bell to help with all arrangements. Mrs. Hale just checked out as soon as they landed in Milton. Margaret is gregarious and grows, especially with each death in the story. I like Thornton best, through and through. I saw the TV adaptation a long time ago before I decided to read the book. I still watch it for all the good casting. I'm a sucker for period pieces.
Hunter Jay My comment was written as I was reading the beginning of the book, and I still stand by it. I found it so frustrating that Margaret would not stand up to her father when he asked her to tell her mother they were leaving Helstone. In that situation, she simply complied and became an enabler. Over and over he had the opportunity to speak to his wife about what he was doing, but instead he left it to his daughter to handle. If she'd simply refused, he might have grown a bit by having to confront his wife with the news. Instead, he is simply allowed to live his little private life without any conflicts. It even happens later in the book, when they all protect him from the news his wife is dying. And he knows it, but won't face up to it, and in the end...it hurts everyone. THIS is what I was talking about. I don't see how that was working for the sake of others (by complying to this weak man's wishes). Later in the book, I did find Margaret to grow as a human being...but that is much further on. I never had any issues with Mr. Thornton. He was admirable from beginning to end, and much more likable. After all was said and done, I still did not like this book, but I watched the TV adaptation, which I found to be a lot better.
David Read about women in the Victorian age. Margaret Hale actually is pushing against what women's roles were during that time. Today we would today call Margaret an activist. Haskell as well has to watch what she writes in this patriarchal society.
Peggy Stuart Caring enough about other people in your life to give up things to help them requires a spine. Some people are unselfish because they want to be, not because they can't stand up for themselves.
T Crockett I promise she grows as a person.
Lily Continue reading. It progresses nicely, and there is a summation of her becoming a confident and stand alone type person.
Carolina Morales She'll grow stronger due to the sufferings she'll have to cope with. Also, bear in mind, her self righteous nature is the only thing she can count on, given her reckless father and hypocondriacal mother.
Ivy-Mabel Fling Then do not read this sort of book! There are so many different types to choose from!
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