Jane Austen discussion

33 views
SideRead Gaskell Novel > Wives and Daughters-- Part 4: Chapters 31-40

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
Though this is a busy time for us all, I thought I would still open this thread to discuss the next section of Wives and Daughters.

If you can't discuss until after the holidays, this thread will be here! Have a Merry Christmas everyone!


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Have a Mele Kallikimaka, Rachel. This means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian. Will meet back here after the first.


message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) Robin wrote: "Have a Mele Kallikimaka, Rachel. This means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian. Will meet back here after the first."

Oh! Your robin has a Santa hat! Cute!


message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Courtesy of Rochelle, but I see you already have a snowman, so you are all set for the holidays!


message 5: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
Alicia wrote: "---Spoiler---

The development of Molly's feelings for Roger are interesting. When she first meets him, she takes almost no notice of him. Her attention is all for the handsome heir, Osborne. S..."


That's EXACTLY what's going on between Molly and Roger, Alicia! I am starting to enjoy this storyline more and more and can't wait to see what happens next.

*********SPOILER*********

The element of Roger's "engagement" with Cynthia in this section is one that I hope will resolve itself satisfactorily. He'll be gone for two years on that Fellowship he's been given, and Cynthia herself seems to hint that she doesn't think it will happen. Mr. Preston is clearly a factor there, too. I felt so sorry for Molly when Mr. Coxe returned and ended up falling for Cynthia too! Even though Molly never had romantic feelings for him, I cringe to see every guy falling for Cynthia. IT IS IRRITATING!

I do like that Molly's father is finally figuring out what kind of woman he has married--she just gets worse and worse!

*******end of spoiler******

I absolutely can't wait to see how this all ends up!


message 6: by Shaun (new)

Shaun | 123 comments I think that the character of Mrs. Kirkpatrick is a great one, because Molly's first impression of her was correct. She was outwardly trying to appear kind to Molly in the Towers, but forgot about her. This seems to be Mrs. Kirkpatricks MO.

As for Cynthia, if I can make this comparison, she is like those soap opera vixens who all the men fall over themselves for and we scratch our heads and ask "why????"

I would also like to thank you guys for getting me to read Elizabeth Gaskell! I'm a fan now!


message 7: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Mr. Gibson is acting like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. His sarcasm hides his disappointment in and frustration with his wife.

I'm reminded of the conversation in Persuasion when Captain Harville tells Anne that all literature proves that women are more inconstant than men, and she says that is because the pen has been in the hand of man. Now the pen is in the hand of woman - Elizabeth Gaskell - and we see the inconstancy of man in the person of Mr. Cox.


Samantha McNulty Alicia wrote: "Mr. Gibson is acting like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. His sarcasm hides his disappointment in and frustration with his wife.

Agreed! He is very annoyed with his wife, but loves his daughter so much that he puts up with her so that she can have a mother figure.


message 9: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
Alicia wrote: "Mr. Gibson is acting like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. His sarcasm hides his disappointment in and frustration with his wife.

I'm reminded of the conversation in Persuasion when Captain H..."


You are so right, Alicia! Cynthia is pretty inconstant herself, though.

And as off-putting a character as Molly's stepmother is, I'm afraid she is right about Osbourne--I think his death would be too good of a plot point to ignore.


message 10: by Amalie (new)

Amalie So it seems Gaskell continues the issue of parenting, or perhaps the relationships between parents and children. Osborne and Roger have a close relationship, they look after one aother and have no resent towards each other, but it's no thank to Mr. and Mrs. Hamley. Their partial treatment should've made them rivals but we see other wise, specially from Roger's side as Alicia had said in the earlier thread, he does come out as an exceptional man. Similarly both Molly and Cynthia are well-mannered girls but looking at their parents we can't say, they are influenced by their parents manners. So there is kind of a breakdown in inherited values.

Mrs. Gibson is quite a "Mrs. Bennet" isn't she? The less I want to read into it the more I see, she doesn't even care that she's making her daughter embarrassing.


message 11: by Amalie (new)

Amalie There is a quite a bit of Euro-centrism in the story, isn't there? This is Victorian Era true, but I've not seen such references in famous writers like Dickens or Hardy or even Brontes.


*********SPOILER*********

"Black folk are not remarkable for their powers
of reasoning, I believe, so that they have not much
chance of altering his opinion by argument, even if
they understood each other's language; and certainly if he shares my taste, their peculiarity of complexion will only make him appreciate white skins the more."

********* NO SPOILER*********

Their are few references like "those savage lands" I'm beginning to wonder whether there are similar references in her other novels, if so, is this a reason why she's not well-known in Commonwealth countries.


Question: Why does Roger tell his brother to marry again in England? They are legally married according to Osborn. Does that have something to do with conversion, because his wife is a Catholic?


message 12: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
You are so right, Amalie, about Mrs. Gibson being a Mrs. Bennet and about the Euro-centric tone of the section about Roger's travels to Africa.

As for Osborne's marriage, I'm not sure if Roger's recommendation has anything to do with the religious affiliation of Osborne's wife--I just thought Roger felt it would be the most open and respectable idea--but I may be wrong.


message 13: by Alicia (new)

Alicia About Osborne's marriage - since Roger was not there he does not know for sure whether it was a legal marriage. Osborne doesn't give him enough information, and he doesn't have any documentation. Roger wants to be sure the marriage is legal in case there is a son. The son would only be able to inherit the estate if he was born in wedlock. If the Squire and Osborne both died, and there was any question about whether the marriage was legal, the estate would be caught up in legal problems. Read or watch Bleak House by Dickens if you want an idea of what this could be like. By having the couple get married again in a way that would be sure to be accepted under English law, Roger is trying to avoid future problems.

This is another example of Roger's unselfishness. If the marriage was not legal, Roger would inherit the estate himself.

About Mrs. Gibson being like Mrs. Bennet - she's not stupid like Mrs. Bennet, but when she constantly talks about how sensitive she is, she reminds me of Mrs. Bennet talking about her nerves. And she is just as focused on getting the two girls married as Mrs. Bennet.


message 14: by Amalie (new)

Amalie Yes, I get it now, thanks, and his actions not only bring Roger's unselfish nature, it also shows he is responsible, which I think is lacking in Osborne's cahracter.


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Roger seems to me not at all selfish. He wanted his brother to remarry in the Church of England, so Osborne would be heir apparent or next in line, after the Squire's demise. He was looking out for Osborne's best interests.


back to top