Tuesday, January 20, 2015

North and South Read Along Part Two Discussion: Chapter 19 to 35

We've now read through chapter 35 of North and South! Are you loving it? Isn't it most awesome? Well, I think so anyway.

The discussion is being hosted by Kami today. If you want to answer her questions and post them on your blog be sure to link up over at her blog!

Also, don't forget, we'll be chatting tonight at 6 pm Mountain time TONIGHT (that's a date change so take note!) on Twitter using #NorthSouthRAL.  We had WAY too much fun last time, so you know you want to join us! (P.S. Have you been following that hashtag anyway? Lots of fun quotes and thoughts being shared all throughout the read along.) 

And then, we'll see you you here on my blog at the end of the month with our final discussion post.

Questions and Answers:

1. Have your feelings changed towards Mr. Thornton during this section of the book?

I think at first, we feel a bit indifferent towards him. We see him a lot through Margaret's eyes and like her, we aren't too sure what he's about. But I feel like in this section he totally shines. Bringing fruit for her mom, and then saving her from the inquisition...even AFTER she's totally rejected him? I mean, he, despite his gruff outward demeanor, is a complete sweetheart.
Delivering fruit. Wearing that hat!

2. Have your feelings towards Margaret changed?

She makes me a bit crazy in this section because she can't see the sweetheart-ness mentioned above. She is so determined to stick with her silly prejudices! But toward the end of this reading, I can feel that her ideas are starting to change. Otherwise, I'd be very bugged at her indeed. However, I do feel bad about all the death she is suddenly having to deal with. I guess she's not really thinking about love when she has to handle all that other stuff.

3. What do you think about the riot and how Margaret and Mr. Thornton reacted?

Margaret was pretty brave, I must admit. And a bit crazy. And so much acting without thinking. I love how Mr. Thornton doesn't think much of it at the time (except that she's lost her mind) but then relives the moment over and over and over again. I think he feels bad that he wasn't quite as brave as she was. She showed him up! Anyway. It's an awesome scene and such a turning point for all different parts of the plot.

4. Do you think Boucher's anger and actions were justified?

Boucher's plight is insane. I have no idea what I'd do were I in his shoes. Do you? I think he is overly emotional, but somewhat justified. He is in a panic about how to take care of his family, so you can't fault him that. But it does seem like there are better ways to handle the situation.

5. Did Bess's or Mrs. Hale's deaths effect you in any way?

Bess's is so sad. She had her whole life ahead of her. And I think her sickness was caused by working in the mills, right? Which makes it especially hard to take. Mrs. Hale's is sad too, but I think she is dying of some sort of natural cause (I wish they'd just say what it is!) and she at least has lived a bit of life, so I'm not as sad over hers. Though she is still way to young to die and it's hard to see the trauma it causes the family. The boys are especially frail during this time, which is interesting to me. You'd think that Elizabeth Gaskell would think of boys as all strong and unemotional or something. I always find it surprising anyway.

6. Were you surprised to learn that it wasn't common for women to attend funerals? What are your feelings on that tidbit?

Strange! And I wonder why? Just because they can't handle their emotions? And yet, as I said in the question before, it seems more like the boys are the ones out of control! I wonder when this custom changed over the years. Really interesting anyway. 

7. Now that we've met Frederick, do you like him? Are you sympathetic to his predicament?

I do like him. But I wish we could get to know him better. He does seem a bit, wimpy, shall we say. And doesn't really help Margaret all that much. But still, he's scared to be found out, so that makes things really hard. And I'm sure he's been through quite the trauma in his life. So I'll give him a little bit of a pass. I just love how his story interacts with Margaret's to the point of causing all sorts of misunderstanding.

8. What are your feelings on Mr. Thornton's proposal?

Dear Mr. Thornton: You were a little hasty dude! If you'd just waited a bit! I mean, why the rush? If you'd have just gone about doing all those nice things and let her SEE that, then she's going to FALL SO HARD and you're home free! Patience my man, patience. But no, you had to run off the minute you get a little, sort of accidental hug, and BAM, off to marry her! Yeah... you should have waited a bit, I'm sorry to say. Still, it made for a nice awkward moment for you to endure that we all enjoy reading about!

9. If you were in Mr. Thornton's place, having seen the person you love with a stranger late at night, then finding out that person was questioned by the police and lied, would you do the same thing Mr. Thornton did? Would you protect that person even though you think they have done questionable things?

I don't know! I'm hoping the doesn't really think those things about her and is giving her the benefit of the doubt. But seriously, he just loves her so much that he doesn't care. He just doesn't want to see her go through all that and he'll do anything to stop it. I love him for it. But I so wish that she would just go to him and say, "Hey, I know you did this thing, and you are thinking this thing, but here's what really happened, just so you know." But maybe she doesn't trust him enough about the whole Frederick thing yet. But still... just tell him!

10. Do you think Margaret's feelings towards Mr. Thornton have changed? Why?

Oh yes. For sure. It's starting to hit her. She realizes that he's for real and genuine and that even though she made him feel like crap, he still loves her despite that and she's blown away by it really. I love seeing this change. 

Ah! All you first timers, I hope you are loving it! Sigh. 

On to the end of the book! I can't wait for our movie night. Do join us, either in person or on Twitter. February 6 at 6 pm Mountain!


  1. I like your thoughts! It's funny because I felt like Margaret changed more and was more sympathetic in this section than Mr. Thornton. But I totally agree that he was super rash in proposing. I hope he finds out what was really going on with Frederick in the last section!

    1. Kathy: I hope so too regarding Frederick. (wink wink!)

  2. Ha ha ha! Your letter to Mr. Thornton is hilarious. Great insight to the other questions too!

    1. Jenni: I had to have a bit of fun with him!

  3. Yay! I think I can actually join in on theocie night. I don't work. Now the kids need to cooperate and I'll be on Twitter. need to double check that Netflix still has the movie. Loved this movie.

    1. Ibeeeg: The movie night? Awesome! I do think Netflix still has it.

  4. I loved your answers. I was tough on Mr. Thornton, but I see you agreed he rushed into the proposal! I'm sure it will all come together in the end and I'm looking forward to it. I don't have a twitter account but I will be watching the movie when you do.

    1. Kelley: I so wish you had Twitter! You'd be loving these chats we're having! But at any rate, we'll post our movie thoughts so you can join in that way for sure. :)

  5. I can't remember the book as much. Maybe one of these days I'll have to read it again.

    1. Jenny: One of these days? What? Why not RIGHT NOW? :)

  6. I loved the letter to Mr. Thornton! Ha! Great answers!

  7. Maybe becasue I haven't read this book before or seen the show, I'm not really reading this as a romance so far. I see it more as a coming of age story about Margaret.

    I did a little reserach about Victorian funeral customs on my blog when you get a chance to check it out :-)

    1. Brona: I commented to your comment at Kami's blog, but yes, I can totally see what you are saying about the coming of age. We get so wrapped up in loving Mr. Thornton that we sometimes forget other things are happening too!

  8. He totally rushed the proposal! Oh Mr. Thornton. *sigh* But we wouldn't love him half so well if he wasn't so rash and in love with Margaret! ;) I do love how he loves her. Regardless of her or his mother or anything else, he has determined to embrace his feelings and love her anyway. And his constancy and care are.....well...yeah, I don't have the words. All I can do is *swoon*. :D
    But now she's finally starting to get a clue! Yay for that! I've been enjoying her ponderings on what he's done for her and watching her slow change of opinion and recognition of her true feelings.

  9. Great answers and I love the letter. I agree that Margaret up until this point hasn't been my favorite character, but I do enjoy seeing her character grow and change.



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