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

In the short story “The Half Brothers” how does Elizabeth Gaskell manipulate the reader’s feelings?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In the short story "The Half Brothers" how does Elizabeth Gaskell manipulate the reader's feelings? The Half Brothers is a Victorian short story written by Elizabeth Gaskell. Elizabeth Gaskell has written many short stories but this is one of her best. In "The Half Brothers" Gaskell manages to evoke various feelings from her readers such as admiration, pity and disapproval for different characters. Apart from these reactions she evokes from the readers, she manages to build up and hold suspense for long periods of time during the short story. In her later work such as in The Half Brothers she shows sympathy for the problems of the poor Victorian factory workers and those suffering from poor housing. Gaskell's strong background of Christian religion has a direct influence on her writing. She is very definite about what is good and what is evil and has a strong moral sense. A contemporary writer of Gaskell's time, Charles Dickens, commented on her fondness for deathbed scenes and certainly these are a feature of "The Half Brothers" Gaskell makes us feel sympathy and admiration towards the two main characters. She evokes these feelings from us for Helen and Helen's son Gregory. She manages to make us feel sympathy for Helen because of her circumstances, poverty, isolation and being widowed so young. Gaskell shows us the extent of her problems and how they are all building up on Helen at once. Gaskell does this in a very effective way by listing all of Helens problem in one long sentence 'and he fell into ill health, died of consumption before they had been three years man ...read more.

Middle

Preston holds a grudge on Gregory right from the very start. But we must admire Gregory for not begrudging him or any other person who treats him badly even if they have just been nasty to him, he would 'do a kind turn for anyone, even if they had been scolding him'. He is parallel to his mother. This helps us to warm to him as a character. Gregory is stoical and endures things with uncomplaining patience which's helps us to admire him. Gaskell creates a character that speaks highly of Gregory. Nearly every one of the farm workers has a bad thing to say about him apart from old Adam. Gregory is sent out onto the hills as a Shepard with along with Adam who trains him. Adam is the only person apart from Gregory's mother who has not got a bad word to say about him, but indeed praises him. This is likely to the fact that Adam was 'almost the first person who had a good opinion of Gregory' and even told this to his boss, Preston. Later in the story when the narrator goes missing, Gregory goes out in the thick snow to look for his half brother risking in his own life and not even thinking about it. This also seems parallel to Helen who had done similar for Gregory by putting Gregory first and looking out for him without even thinking about it. When Gregory manages to find the narrator, Gaskell makes us feel even more admiration for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The suspense is mounted to see whether or not lassie can get back to the ranch before the pair die of the cold. Then the narrator 'fell asleep'. We think is the end, he has fallen asleep he will die. But then a sense of relief comes over us when we find that the narrator has been found just time and survives, but Gregory is not so lucky. Through out the story "The Half Brothers" Gaskell evokes and manipulates many of our feelings. But some readers, including myself find that some of the story mawkish and trying to push at our emotional buttons in an unsophisticated way. Gaskell style of writing helps to manipulate our feelings. The way she portrays Helen's and Gregory's lives makes us feel a lot of sympathy towards them but we admire the way they put up with everything without complaining. She creates a character, which seems to be the bad guy of the story and evokes complex feelings for him from us. Some readers including myself may find that Preston is an horrid man and continue to think the same even when Gaskell tries to soften his image by saying that he has become 'humanised', but others may feel that he is a good man at heart and this is portrayed at the end of the story when he is deeply regretful. Gaskell is very good at creating suspense and makes us worried about the characters and makes us want to read on. So overall Gaskell is very good at manipulating our feelings. ?? ?? ?? ?? Assignment 3 Pre 1900 Prose "The Half Brothers" by Elizabeth Gaskell ...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 Blood Brothers 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 Blood Brothers essays

  1. The two short stories 'The Half Brothers' and 'News of the Engagement' both deal ...

    This also shows the strong bond between the mother and son and their his willingness to do anything in his power to see his mother. One night Gregory's half brother does not return from an errand of his father's and Gregory goes out onto the moors to find him.

  2. What is a hero? In this essay I will be discussing three short stories ...

    'Their houses are built of logs, dark and smoky within. There will be a crude icon of the virgin behind a guttering candle...' The story goes on to tell us how the inhabitants of this place believe in the Devil, and often glimpse him.

  1. Blood Brothers - The Narrator

    He goes on to say, 'and only if the three of them could stay like that forever...' This time we see the different side of the Narrator, the side that I had mentioned before. His words are now on the humane side, he feels for these young people who will

  2. Blood Brothers

    I think that Edward should run towards Mickey, quickly put his hands over Mickey's eyes and shout this and say it in a 'father Christmas' voice. This would show that Edward is in a good mood and is very excited about Christmas.

  1. Compare the structure and setting Of the two short stories 'The Half Brothers' By ...

    The title already makes us distraught, as it is so indistinct. The readers 'mind's eye' automatically focuses on the 'darkness' in the title, causing us to feel uneasy at the possibilities as to what this mysterious darkness symbolises. The story then leads us into a sense of false security.

  2. How Does Dickens Create Sympathy for His Characters in the Opening Extract of "Great ...

    Also I can see Edward going up to Mickey and sitting in front of him, this is where he will introduce his first line. I picture both characters to look completely different in clothes wear. For instance I think Mickey would be wearing plain grey pants, a plain off coloured white t-shirt, and black shoes.

  1. Blood Brothers

    Willy Russell set the play in 1950s Liverpool the time of the discrimination of social classes, which effected many people. This relates to the play as it is about two different social families, it shows how two different social lives can change two peoples lifestyles.

  2. 'Street Scene' was written by Elmer Rice and exploits the values of a Catholic ...

    I used a lot of New York slang such as 'jug' rather than 'jail' and often only said the first letter of each word. For example when saying a line such as: 'You have to help me, I will go crazy in here otherwise,' I would mentally translate it to: 'Y' gotta help me, Iya go crrazy in heeya otherwize.'

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