Analysis Of South And South By Elizabeth Gaskell Essay example

1960 Words Mar 25th, 2016 null Page
"[T]here was a unifying theme that ran through most of the judgments made about Ireland and the Irish in Victorian England, and that theme had a distinctly ethnic and racial character. Stated simply, this consensus amounted to an assumption or a conviction that the 'native Irish ' were alien in race and inferior in culture to the Anglo-Saxons" (Curtis 5). In North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, this Victorian undercurrent of anti-Irish sentiment is felt throughout the novel. The novel 's view of the Irish spans from sympathy and pity to possession and superiority. Not only is the upper-class view of the Irish present, but the working class also voices its rather different perspective of Irish immigrants. Lastly, the vein of anti-Catholicism, which was extremely popular in the Protestant country of England, was an important factor towards understanding the disgust with both the Irishmen were treated with in Victorian England and how it affected North and South.
The introduction of Irish prejudices in the novel occurs when the manufacturer Mr. Thornton imports Irish workers after his employees go on strike. "Perhaps you know my brother has imported hands from Ireland, and it has irritated the Milton people excessively …" (Gaskell 172). Replacing strikers with Irish workers was common practice, and this fueled the anti-Irish sentiment among the working class already present in Victorian England. “English labourers worked in the same rough trades, lived in equally ugly…

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