North and South

North and South

by

Elizabeth Gaskell

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Frederick Hale Character Analysis

Frederick is Margaret’s older brother, firstborn of Richard and Maria Hale. Six or seven years ago, he was involved in some “terrible affair” in the navy, resulting in his being “lost” to the family forever. Later, Margaret learns that Frederick led a mutiny, standing up against a tyrannical sea-captain, and risks hanging if he sets foot in England again. After spending time as a fugitive in South America, he has most recently been living in Cadiz, Spain. When Margaret writes that Mrs. Hale is dying, he risks a trip to England for a brief reunion. He narrowly escapes Milton after Leonards tries to stop him at the train station. Frederick marries Dolores Barbour after he returns to Spain and also converts to Catholicism out of love for her.

Frederick Hale Quotes in North and South

The North and South quotes below are all either spoken by Frederick Hale or refer to Frederick Hale. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of North and South published in 1996.
Chapter 14 Quotes

“I think, Margaret,” she continued, after a pause, in a weak, trembling, exhausted voice, “I am glad of it—I am prouder of Frederick standing up against injustice, than if he had been simply a good officer.”

“I am sure I am,” said Margaret, in a firm, decided tone. “Loyalty and obedience to wisdom and justice are fine; but it is still finer to defy arbitrary power, unjustly and cruelly used—not on behalf of ourselves, but on behalf of others more helpless.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Mrs. Maria Hale (speaker), Frederick Hale
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

“At first, when I heard from one of my servants, that you had been seen walking about with a gentleman, so far from home as the Outwood station, at such a time of the evening, I could hardly believe it…It was indiscreet, to say the least; many a young woman has lost her character before now—”

Margaret’s eyes flashed fire. This was a new idea—this was too insulting. If Mrs. Thornton had spoken to her about the lie she had told, well and good—she would have owned it, and humiliated herself. But to interfere with her conduct—to speak of her character! She—Mrs. Thornton, a mere stranger—it was too impertinent! She would not answer her—not one word. Mrs. Thornton saw the battle-spirit in Margaret’s eyes, and it called up her combativeness also.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Thornton (speaker), Margaret Hale, Frederick Hale
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:
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Frederick Hale Character Timeline in North and South

The timeline below shows where the character Frederick Hale appears in North and South. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret assumes that her father’s sadness is due to her brother, Frederick. She wishes that Frederick had become a clergyman, “instead of going into the navy, and... (full context)
Chapter 4
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...of imploring distress on his face. She asks if it has anything to do with Frederick. (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
It has nothing to do with Frederick, Mr. Hale explains, and he will answer her questions, but after tonight, they must never... (full context)
Chapter 14
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...Hale begins to confide in Margaret more and more. One evening, she begins talking about Frederick—the taboo subject Margaret has yearned to hear more about. Mrs. Hale often dreams of Frederick... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...the “yellow, sea-stained letters.” As Mrs. Hale looks through them, Mrs. Hale tells Margaret what Frederick experienced at sea. Frederick, she explains, had been under the charge of a tyrannical Captain... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret agrees with Mrs. Hale’s assessment of Frederick’s actions. “Loyalty and obedience to wisdom and justice are fine,” she says firmly, “but it... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Mrs. Hale longs to see Frederick again, but knows that some of his shipmates have been apprehended and hanged, the court... (full context)
Chapter 16
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...for all her discontentments and complaints while living there. At the thought of her firstborn, Frederick, however, her relative calm is shattered, and she dissolves into violent hysterics. With Dixon’s help,... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...leaves, Dixon says to herself, “Bless her!...There are three people I love; it’s missus, Master Frederick, and her. Just them three.” She supposes that Mr. Hale was born in order to... (full context)
Chapter 17
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...in Bessy about Mrs. Hale’s deathly illness, Mr. Hale’s ignorance of the dire situation, and Frederick’s exile. She asks Bessy, “Do I not know anxiety, though I go about well-dressed, and... (full context)
Chapter 25
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...singing the praises of the Thorntons’ water-bed. The conversation gradually turns to the subject of Frederick, and soon Mrs. Hale is weeping and appealing to Margaret to find a way to... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...the post office. When Margaret tells him what she’s done, he explains the danger that Frederick will face by returning to England, that the Navy is unrelenting in its pursuit of... (full context)
Chapter 30
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret and Dixon, meanwhile, discuss the possibility that Frederick might soon arrive and plan how to keep his coming a secret from all but... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Later that evening, the doorbell rings, and Margaret answers it to discover Frederick, who has arrived before his letter. Her heart is lightened as Margaret welcomes and tends... (full context)
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Dr. Donaldson warns that Mrs. Hale won’t live for many more days, and Frederick and Margaret grieve together. Frederick suggests that doing is better than mournful thinking at times... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...quickly rouses herself to be “a strong angel of comfort to her father and brother.” Frederick finds that his preference for action fails him in the midst of grief; he can... (full context)
Chapter 31
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...the aftermath of Mrs. Hale’s death, she has no time to cry—while Mr. Hale and Frederick grieve, “she must be working, planning, considering. Even the necessary arrangements for the funeral seemed... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
That evening, Dixon confides to Margaret that she doesn’t think it’s safe for Frederick to stay any longer. She saw a man named Leonards in town, a scamp of... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Frederick idly mentions getting a glimpse of Thornton at the door and thinking him “a shopman,”... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Frederick expresses his wish that Margaret and Mr. Hale might join him in Spain, where he... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret wonders whether Frederick could clear his name in the event of a court-martial. Frederick explains that such courts... (full context)
Chapter 32
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret agrees to accompany Frederick to the train station the next day. She says she won’t mind walking home in... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Just before the train arrives, a rough-looking porter comes up, shoves Margaret, and seizes Frederick’s collar, identifying him as Hale. Somehow, by “some sleight of wrestling,” Frederick trips the man—presumably... (full context)
Chapter 33
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret receives a worrying letter from Frederick saying that he’s lingered in London in hopes of meeting Mr. Lennox, who is currently... (full context)
Chapter 34
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 35
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret slowly regains consciousness and thinks about what’s happened. Lying to save Frederick is worth it, but she decides that if she receives assurance of his safety before... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
The next morning, Margaret receives word from Frederick—he had been safely out of England, in fact, well before she had lied to protect... (full context)
Chapter 39
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...with Mrs. Thornton, she is distressed all over again to realize that Thornton must believe Frederick to have been her lover. She thinks about how miserable the past year has been,... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...do so, she can think of nothing to say that doesn’t threaten her loyalty to Frederick. Thornton promises that her “secret” is safe with him and says that he’s no longer... (full context)
Chapter 41
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...heartfelt joy in anything but caring for Mr. Hale. In March they receive word of Frederick’s marriage to Dolores; he has settled in an excellent position working in Dolores’ family’s trading-house... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...keenly the lie she told, especially in light of the dashing of her hopes for Frederick’s exoneration, and the events to which her lie gave rise. She reads a passage from... (full context)
Chapter 42
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...Thornton, and Mrs. Thornton chat at the Thorntons’ house, Bell makes a passing reference to Frederick, startling Thornton. Bell explains Frederick’s identity to the puzzled Thornton, but, not knowing about Frederick’s... (full context)
Chapter 44
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...and they chat about Henry’s attempt to find supporting witnesses for the case to clear Frederick’s name. As Mr. Bell walks out with Henry Lennox, they chat about the Hales’ family... (full context)
Chapter 45
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...Hale in Helstone. He joins Henry Lennox and Margaret to go over the details of Frederick’s case, which is not strong enough to pursue further, especially now that Frederick is happily... (full context)
Chapter 46
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...they have tea back at the inn that evening, Margaret brings up the subject of Frederick and confesses to Mr. Bell that she’s told a lie. Margaret spills out the whole... (full context)
Chapter 47
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...Lennox, and looking forward to a possible trip to Spain with Mr. Bell to visit Frederick. (full context)
Chapter 49
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret still hopes for a way to meet Frederick on the Continent, but agrees to join the Shaws at Cromer (a coastal town northeast... (full context)
Chapter 50
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...lights up at the mention of her. Then, with a confidential air, Higgins asks whether Frederick’s name has been cleared, having heard the details from Mary while she was working temporarily... (full context)