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

Cranford - A micro analysis of pages 1-4

Extracts from this document...


'Cranford' Micro Analysis Pages 1 - 4 from "In the first place" to "she did practise such 'elegant economy' " Word Count 1,220 (excluding quotes) 'Cranford' by Elizabeth Gaskell is a traditional Victorian regional novel, focussing on a small community and specifically the 'Cranford' ladies. It has simple morals and the language used is typical of the era; highly descriptive, with the use of long, detailed sentences. I have chosen to analyse the opening passage as it contains examples of many of the themes and motifs of the novel and prepares the reader for the tone of the novel. Written in the first person, the narrator, Mary Smith, is writing an account from her point of view about the happenings that occur over the years in this small town. 'Cranford' is based on the author's own experiences of growing up in Knutsford and the narrator is probably Gaskell herself. 'Cranford 'appears to be an attractive, humorous and nostalgic piece that depicts the life of a small community in the north of England but it could be argued that it has a sarcastic, satirical and highly critical sub-text. Gaskell wrote her novel to cater for a very specific niche of reader. ...read more.


In addition to this Gaskell also makes a point of drawing attention to the rules by emphasising the condescending tone used by the ladies. A 'Cranford' lady might say "I dare say your mama has told you, my dear," (p6) which is not only comical but also reflects the age of the narrator as she appears to be much younger than the residents she is writing about. This can be seen later in the novel for example when the ladies visit Mr Holbrook "When Mr Holbrook returned he proposed a walk in the fields; but the two elder ladies were afraid of the damp, and dirt."(p44) Gaskell also mocks the concept of paying a call to someone by making it clear that the only thought in the visitors mind is the timing. The entire exercise becomes pointless "As everybody had this rule in their minds, whether they received or paid a call, of course no absorbing subject was ever spoken about. We kept ourselves to short sentences of small talk, and were punctual to out time." (p7) Gaskell could be making a critical as well as a satirical point here. Women were generally uneducated and it was thought that their minds were unable to cope with sophisticated topics of conversation. ...read more.


The inhabitants of 'Cranford' all follow the same pattern of behaviour, with everyone conforms to the strict routine and Gaskell appears to be criticising the lack of individuality of the ladies as they all act like sheep. In conclusion although 'Cranford' is a charming, nostalgic piece I do believe that Gaskell's intention was to challenge the role of women at home and in society. By subtly mocking the daily 'toils' of the 'Cranford' ladies she showing how pointless and mundane their lives could be. No real or important issues are reflected in this novel, the impact of the industrial revolution, the distress of the poor or the ongoing campaigns for equal rights for women. The 'Cranford' ladies exist in a bubble that is only affected by the influence of the outside by death and bankruptcy. She shows Miss Matty left helpless without the privilege of an education and left alone to due her self-sacrifice. By showing this she makes a subtle point to her readers showing that this could happen to anyone of them and maybe hoping that this would be a more powerful message rather than a novel concerning extreme feminist views. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hilary Brocks 12MM ...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 Sociology 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 Sociology essays

  1. Write a critical analysis of Plath's "The Applicant", bearing in mind the voice of the ...

    In this sense his status as a worker in society is merely artificial, he is only trying to make up for his inadequacies, he finds no true meaning or purpose in his work. He himself is prone to disintegration and death, the 'fire and bombs through the roof', but the 'suit' and his status remains intact.

  2. Hedda Gabler and Miss Julie

    ?spous?d Zola's conc?pt of Naturalism wh?r? nov?ls and plays w?r? "clinical laboratori?s in which might sci?ntifically ?xplor? th? cons?qu?nc?s upon his charact?rs of th?ir birth and background (Styan, pp 189-234). From th? t?xt w? can inf?r that Miss Juli? is w?ak, impulsiv? and sugg?stibl?. Sh? has a masculin? str?ak, as wh?n sh?

  1. With reference to female sexuality, evaluate to which a Foucauldian analysis enables a full ...

    which factors are spoken, thought and experienced, defining a specialised language and a particular body of knowledge. "a discourse provides a frame of reference, a way of interpreting the world and giving it meaning that allows some 'objects to take shape" (Burr 2001 2000, p57).

  2. Who were the Greek warrior Spartans?

    legend of the Spartan boy who had stolen a fox, which he concealed under his cloak. Rather than reveal his secret, so the story goes, the lad allowed the fox to gnaw into his stomach. Literacy was not a part of Spartan education, for reading and writing played no role in a soldier's life.

  1. How does 'Cranford' represent Victorian society in microcosm?

    at the Cranford evening parties, or he is accounted for by being with his regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business all the week in the great neighbouring commercial town of Drumble' (p5). This point is again reinforced as the narrator informs us that she recalls one of the

  2. Unit 4 Assessment: Power & Politics

    societies such as modern Britain and these are Pluralism, Elitism, Marxism and the Feminist approach. There are two main kinds of Pluralism: Classical and Elite. Classical Pluralism acknowledges the fact that very few citizens in western societies have any direct involvement in political decision making.

  1. Wider Reading - Cider with Rosie and Cranford.

    Unlike Cider with Rosie, Cranford is a novel, studying the aspects of change in the world. However like Laurie Lee, Elizabeth Gaskell writes about the people she had known in her childhood. It must also be taken into consideration that Cranford is set one hundred and fifty years ago, about one hundred years before Cider with Rosie.

  2. Do a detailed critical analysis of the opening of Coetzee's Foe, paying particular attention ...

    The attack is on Defoe, the so-called 'father of the novel', perhaps because he tried to sell Robinson Crusoe off as a real life biography. Coetzee is trying to show that even if Crusoe was real the writer of the novel he would still hold the power to create and

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