Essay on Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton

1287 Words Apr 14th, 2006 6 Pages
Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton Although the people of a single nation share the same homeland, contradictory these people live in separate worlds. In the lives of the privileged and the unfortunate they are separated between their positions in the social ladder, which is defined by their financial stability. In Elizabeth Gaskell's, Mary Barton the different worlds of the wealthy is contrasted to those of the poor. Gaskell's attention to detail emphasizes the division among the two social classes, demonstrating the lavish and luxurious lives of the upper class as it is contrasted to those of the impoverish and disheartening lives of the lower class, while also developing characterization, illustrating the character's reactions to the …show more content…
Not only does the Carson's wealth emphasize the poverty in which the lower class lives in, but also develops the character of Wilson, a worker for Mr. Carson. When Wilson makes that two-mile walk to Mr. Wilson's house it demonstrates his perseverance in getting to the house. It can also be concluded that he does not really have a choice because he has limited resources. Wilson does not have any other form of transportation except for his own two feet. The lack of transportation can only be because of the lack of money, emphasizing he is part of the lower class. When Wilson, finally arrives at the Carson's house, he sees the elegant and expensive belongings of the family—"As Wilson passes a window which a house maid had thrown open, e saw pictures and gilding, at which he was tempted to stop and look" (14-17). As Wilson is "tempted," it can be interpreted that he is envious of the family and the possession that they have, possession that are unattainable because of his inferiority to the upper class. One possession that is not as readily available to Wilson as it is to the Carsons is food. The abundance of food reminds Wilson of his starvation, not hunger, which solidifies his impoverish life. The absence of food in his life, unlike in the Carson home, is a common occurrence that "Wilson's craving turned into sickness" (37-38). If he were to be stuffed with food, then, that would be a shock. Because the starvation is a regular occurrence

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