• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In her short story

Extracts from this document...


In her short story "the Half brothers" how does Elizabeth Gaskell manipulate the readers feelings? 'The Half-Brothers" is a story written in the mid-1900's by a middle-class Victorian writer called Elizabeth Gaskell. She has a strong moral interest in the difficulties of poor people who lived in abject poverty. This is what inspired her to write stories such as "The Half-Brothers". Some of her characters in this short story are described in such a way as to provoke sympathy and admiration for them from the reader. However other characters have much more depth to them and are more complicated. The suspense she creates in the particularly dramatic episode set in the Fells in the north of England also manipulates the reader's feelings. The first character we are introduced to is Helen- the narrator's mother. She is a very sympathetic character. Almost immediately the writer starts to gain our pity for Helen. She was so young when she was first married- "scarcely seventeen" in fact, and her husband was barely "one and twenty". Both of these emphasises how very young they were when they entered into such a great commitment of marriage. Things did not go well for her from the start. The small farm they rented only brought them into more debt but she defended her first husband by saying "perhaps he was too young and inexperienced". No blame is put on anyone for what ahs happened and this helps to show Helen's peaceful character. ...read more.


The regard that Gregory is given from Preston after his death can do no good for him now, as Gregory has already sacrificed himself for Preston's own son. Elizabeth Gaskell also describes Gregory in an admirable way, just as she did with Helen. He is a very forgiving person and will respond to cruelty with kindness. We can see an example of this when it says he would "try to do a good turn for anyone, even if they had been scolding him or cuffing him not a minute before." Adam had a lot to praise Gregory for and therefore there is obviously something to admire about him. We should also admire him for these properties. In the Episode on the Fells Gregory "recognised the peculiar phase of suffering". This shows his sensitivity, that he can empathise with his half brother's suffering. Gregory is looking out for his half brother and 'tenderly covered [him] up'. This shows the extent of his fraternal love despite how badly the narrator had treated Gregory. There is a strong contrast that we can see between the narrator's selfishness and Gregory's selflessness. He does not even make a fuss about the sacrifice he knows he is going to make. This self-sacrifice Gregory makes for his half-brother despite how badly he has treated him is one of the most admirable things that could possibly be done. A lasting impression of what Gregory did is shown by the phrase "he was strangely in our thoughts" but was never spoken off. ...read more.


This makes suspense, as we want to know if both will be saved. There is also no swift solution and they have to make very slow progress even though they are quickly getting trapped. The idea earlier about claustrophobia is again reinforced by the "thick closing pressing darkness." It is now becoming a threat to their lives and is a life or death situation. They must 'walk for dear life' or will be 'frozen to death.' A 'deadly fatal sleep' is described. He may slip into unconsciousness and will be a danger to his life if sleep does successfully 'steal' over him. A tautology 'deadly fatal' is once again used to emphasise how grave the situation has become. They have run out of ideas of how to be saved their 'only' chance is in Lassie. The suspense then ends at what seems to be a blackout. We find out about Gregory's death a few lines later with "a look passed from one to another." I felt Elizabeth Gaskell manipulated my feelings very well in a wide variety of ways. I thought Helen and Gregory were the type of people who we would like to aspire to. I had a lot of mixed feelings towards Preston, as he was very a complicated character. I thought his character was described very well but also very originally. However, I cannot come to a conclusion on how I feel towards him. I thought the fells episode was quite exciting and suspense was built up very well in it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. This monologue is through the thoughts of a depressed teen, which gets beaten up ...

    Better for me. Better for mother. Better for everyone. No one really appreciated my existence in this world. I was an accident. I wish that were a figure of speech. She even told me - I just stood there and stared in disbelief, anger and anguish that day.


    Literature differs from all other systems in one major respect: that it is a representation and can be used and, indeed, is used, for the representation of all the others. This is precisely the reason why literature is central to the humanities.

  1. "The Lottery" - Write a new ending for the story.

    Felice was a young and beautiful lady in all aspects who had escaped with Jason after the lottery twelve hours ago. Both of them fled and drove away from the insane community. Jason could still see Felice mum brutally being stoned to death.

  2. The character of Granny Weatherall, the central character in Katherine Anne Porter's 'The Jilting ...

    In Granny's mind, this is the greatest jilting. Granny indicates this when she says, "there's nothing more cruel than this-I'll never forgive it" (7). In the footnotes, the author makes the reader aware that Granny is referencing to Christ. Intertwined in these two ironies are Granny's feelings about the loss of her child, Hapsy.

  1. Prize Giving - review.

    The Violets In this poem of reminiscence of her childhood, Harwood concentrates on violets, both as frail melancholy flowers and as symbolic of our fragile early memories, which we cherish and love to recall: Faint scent of violets drifts in the air This positive teaching of the poem, however, is delayed by the negative anecdote which opens it.

  2. Greene's stories often have an ironic twist of events at the end. Discuss the ...

    The individual's life is seen as a completed progression, with death as its last act. By focusing on the survivors' often mistaken or incomplete understanding of the deceased, Greene shows our inability to understand life or death. Evoking the mystery and the suddenness of the characters' deaths by means of

  1. "I'm not a great one for blood-red sunsets…" said Dawe. What is Bruce Dawe ...

    This scene of celebration and happiness contrasts sharply with the first line "And out to meet them about six hundred / officers of the law...", instantly relating the subject to modern times and events. The police officers move out to break up the gathering.

  2. What do we learn from this passage about the character of Achilles? Support your ...

    blames himself for the death of his comrade as Patroklos died fighting in his place wearing his armour. The hero knows he will die because the fates have decreed it will be so, yet Achilleus is happy to accept this fate because he believes he deserves to die.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work