• 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 ...

    Life sentence. Dead. Ha! I wish I was dead! Dead seems like such a nice comforting word right now. I'd most probably have to endure a LOT less pain than now. A lot less shit. Better for me. Better for mother.


    This theoretical postulate may be reformulated by separating the two modes of existence of textuality: as a thing created by historical circumstances, it is literature; as a stimulus forever maintained in the fabric of the text, it is literariness. The difference is that the former is dated, the latter is timeless.

  1. 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.

  2. Prize Giving - review.

    the violets, struggling to emerge and survive: signs of new life and beauty rising from the ashes. To try to establish a connection with nature in order to revive her spirit, she whistles a bird-like trill but, Our blackbird frets and strops his beak indifferent to Scarlattis song.

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

    He looked again and a chill ran down his spine. He saw his mother, a young women standing beside her gravestone, smiling as she hurled a harpoon towards him. "arh, arh..." Jason awoke instantly, gasping for air as his new girlfriend, Felice sat beside comforted him saying that he had a terrible bad dream.

  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 biblical imagery is found throughout Sometimes Gladness, evidence of the religious influence in Dawe's poetry. "News from Judea" begins with a quote from St. Mark II, a description of Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem. "And they that came before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

  2. Compare and Contrast Beautiful Old Age by D.H. Lawrence with Geriatric Ward by Phoebe ...

    This also shows the zombie imagery (dead) "living death". The doctor may feel irritation but he's "under orders". He cannot give up that easily and still has to "pump blood and air in after the mind has gone"; even if the patients are 'dead' or passed out still the doctor needs to try and keep them alive.

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