North and South

North and South

by

Elizabeth Gaskell

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North and South: Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Margaret is, in fact, under great strain. She grieves and waits in agony for further word from Frederick. A few days later, a police inspector comes and asks to speak to Margaret. The inspector tells Margaret that a man (Leonards) has died as a consequence of a fall at the train station the week before. A scuffle was rumored, and the inspector was told that Margaret witnessed it. She maintains a defiant look and tells the inspector, “with the unconscious look of a sleep-walker,” that she was not there. She maintains her regal bearing until the inspector leaves the house, then goes into the study and swoons.
Margaret instinctively lies so as to protect Frederick, since she was no way of knowing whether he is safely out of England.
Themes
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