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SOCIAL AND PERSONAL PARADOXES AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF THE PROTAGONISTS OF ELIZABETH GASKELL’S NOVEL WIVES AND DAUGHTERS


KATARÍNA BRZIAKOVÁ
Comenius University in Bratislava Slovakia

Issue:

CP, Number 23

Section:

No. 23 (2018)

Abstract:

The literary career of Elizabeth Gaskell is roughly defined by two different areas on which she focused – she was the author of the ‘industrial novels’ such as Mary Barton or North and South on the one hand, while on the other, she was strongly attracted to the countryside and its people which were closest to her heart, and where the changes the society was undergoing had the strongest impact as it was reflected in Cranford or Wives and Daughters. Apart from the social changes, however, in Wives and Daughters Gaskell’s interest focused predominantly on the relationships among the individual characters as they are the main driving force of the plot. The topics she tackled resonate strongly with those we are confronted with even today. Though unfinished, Wives and Daughters is an important novel offering the brilliantly realistic portrayal of life in Victorian England. At the same time it helps us see the differences and similarities between then and now. These were the main points we concentrated on while trying to analyse or compare the characters among which Molly Gibson functions as a unifying element on the one hand while on the other she helps to bridge over the widening gap between the old and outdated and the new and unknown.

Keywords:

Elizabeth Gaskell, society, prejudice, family, class, ambition, friendship.

Code [ID]:

CP201823V00S01A0004 [0004787]

Note:


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