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English- Sexton's Hero Essay

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Introduction

The Sexton's Hero A short story is a type of story writing that was very popular during the Victorian era. It can be written in any style or genre, from horror to romantic. Writers of short stories had to keep to certain specifications though, which in some ways, limited them but also told the story as it was and gave a lot more effect on the reader. The stories usually contained two to three main characters and a few settings. For example, Elizabeth Gaskell uses three settings in her short story 'The Sexton's Hero', Lindal a small bay-side village, St Peter's church where the story starts and Morecambe Bay its self. A short story must have small amounts of detail about both the setting and the characters. This makes the story tell only the very basics. Elizabeth Gaskell was a very faithful woman to her husband, which was exactly what was expected from a married woman in the Victorian age. She was so devoted to her vicar husband, that she never used her first name; hence she is always referred to as Mrs Gaskell. Mrs Gaskell always used settings that she knew and been to, so she could create the best effect on the reader. It gave us a sense of realisation and made us think as she would have done when she first saw that place. Mrs Gaskell was a devoted Christian and she believed that all form of violence was wrong and should never be used. ...read more.

Middle

He says that 'till the tears came so thick to my eyes, I could gaze no longer.' From this we can tell that whatever has happened, he regrets it and that something terrible happened in the town to make him cry. This is one case of many when Mrs Gaskell uses foreshadowing to tell us that something bad is going to happen, this makes us slightly nervous as we don't know what is going to happen and to who. The Sexton explains how Gilbert was grave, but Letty was 'so merry and light' which could have been said out of jealousy as Letty did like Gilbert and the Sexton wasn't very happy about it. It makes us wonder if he is a spiteful person and if he dwells on the past. We can tell that the Sexton loathed Gilbert for him being with Letty, by what he says. 'Lord God forgive me! How I hated that man.' This also shows that he is a religious man as he is asking for God's forgiveness for how he felt about Gilbert. The first section of the story gives you a very mixed opinion about the Sexton; we don't know whether he is going to do something bad to Gilbert because of the way he prays to God for forgiveness of how he hated Gilbert. There has also been a bit of foreshadowing which again gets us thinking if something bad is going to happen to anyone. ...read more.

Conclusion

He says 'You must ride before her, and keep her up. The horse can swim. By God's mercy I will follow. I can cut the traces, and if the mare is not hampered with the shandry, she'll carry me safely through. At any rate, you are a husband and a father. No one cares for me.' This extract gives more impact on the reader than any other in the story. It shows us the more confident side of the man we thought was a nervous coward. The last sentence in this extract makes the reader almost feel Gilberts pain. It also makes the Sexton feel extremely guilty for his previous actions towards Gilbert. Because of his changed attitude towards Gilbert, the Sexton went out that night, waiting and looking for Gilbert. 'with weary pace did I pace along the brink of the waters', this shows that no matter what has happened before, he isn't going to give up hope for Gilbert. This shows a huge contrast to the Sexton that we knew from the beginning of the story. A few days later, 'he was washed ashore near Flukeborough' the Sexton explains to the two men. A hero is someone who risks their life for the benefit of someone else. The Sexton thought that Gilbert was a hero, he saved two lifes and gave a baby a mother and a father for another two years. Reading this story has changed me opinion about hero's greatly, I now know the difference between a true hero and what most people call a hero. ?? ?? ?? ?? The Sexton's Hero Thomas Thorley Page 1 ...read more.

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