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The two short stories 'The Half Brothers' and 'News of the Engagement' both deal with the theme of mothers and sons compare the ways the authors write about this idea.

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Introduction

PROSE COURSEWORK THE HALF BROTHERS BY ELIZABETH GASKELL NEWS OF THE ENGAGEMENT BY ARNOLD BENNETT THE SHORT STORIES, 'THE HALF BROTHERS' BY ELIZABETH GASKELL AND 'NEWS OF THE ENGAGEMENT' BY ARNOLD BENNETT BOTH DEAL WITH THE THEME OF MOTHERS AND SONS COMPARE THE WAYS THE AUTHORS WRITE ABOUT THIS IDEA. The two short stories 'The Half Brothers' and 'News of the Engagement' differ in terms of tone and emotional feeling between a mother and son and the authors portray this in different ways, however they both use the theme of widows and marriage. 'News of the Engagement' differs from 'The Half Brothers' in many ways. The author in 'News of the Engagement' uses a completely different tone to the other short story. Its tone is slightly humorous and self-mocking. The mother states, "That's Mrs Dawson's new servant, but she needn't think I'm going to lend her my best, because I'm not." "I shouldn't if I were you" I supported her. This shows a short of kind and loving bond between the mother and son, at the same time with a sense of happiness about them. ...read more.

Middle

The thought that his mum may have had something to tell him important did not even cross his mind. The love between the mother and son is very clear in 'News of the Engagement.' The son states, "I said nothing about my own engagement that night. I had never thought of my mother as a woman with a future. I had never realised that she was desirable, and that a man might desire her and that her lonely existence in that house was not all that she had the right to demand from life." This shows that even though the son is selfish and self-centred and did not believe, up until now, that his mother had a life to live, he still does not mention anything about his engagement. This is because he would rather let his mother be the woman of the moment, instead of him spoiling it with his news. This shows the great love he has for his mother. The tone of 'The Half Brothers' is completely different to the one of 'News of the Engagement.' ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'News of the Engagement' the author portrays the theme of mother and sons with a slight sense of humour and in 'The Half Brothers' the author portrays the theme of mothers and sons on a sad and more serious note. The tones of the two stories are also very different, because 'News of the Engagement' has a lighthearted tone, whereas 'The Half Brothers' has a sombre melancholy and remorseful tone. They both show the tremendous love between the mothers and sons, which is something that can be recognised between nearly every mother and son. In both of the short stories the mothers are widows and get married again. However in 'News of the Engagement' the mother marries a man out of free will and in 'The Half Brothers' the mother is forced into marriage, because of her poor financial situation. This would have affected the sons in different ways. The son in 'News of the Engagement' was brought up by his mother and the son in 'The Half Brothers' was brought up by his father. Overall the two short stories do deal with the theme of mothers and sons, but mainly in very different ways. ...read more.

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