North and South

North and South

by

Elizabeth Gaskell

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on North and South can help.

Margaret Hale Character Analysis

Protagonist Margaret Hale is Richard and Maria Hale’s daughter and Frederick’s sister. At the start of the novel, she is 18 and lives with her cousin Edith Shaw and her Aunt Shaw in London. After Edith’s wedding, Margaret returns home to Helstone, a village in Southern England’s New Forest where her father is the rector, and a place she has pined for and idealized. She is “not beautiful at all,” but is strikingly dignified. She has a natural openness, strong opinions, and a readiness to share what she thinks. Despite her boldness, she is not without suitors and rejects a marriage proposal from her friend Henry Lennox near the beginning of the novel. Because of her father’s change of religious views (he is still a Christian but refuses to serve in the Anglican Church any longer), she must soon adapt to life in the Northern city of Milton, where her father has relocated the family. When Margaret meets John Thornton, sue feels contempt for his antagonistic view of manufacturers versus workers. She also rejects his paternalism and can’t reconcile his occasional kindness with his cold adherence to economic theories. During the strikers’ riot at Marlborough Mills, Margaret shields Thornton from violence, but scornfully rejects his subsequent proposal of marriage. She also befriends Nicholas Higgins and Bessy Higgins soon after arriving in Milton and learns from their working-class perspective. When Mrs. Hale becomes sick and dies, Margaret carries much of the burden of tending to her and arranging the funeral so that Mr. Hale can grieve freely. After Leonards’ death, Margaret lies about her presence at the train station out of fear for Frederick’s life, and Thornton calls off the investigation in order to protect her. Margaret agonizes over her “disgrace” in his eyes, as well as her failure to uphold her own principles. After her father dies, she returns to London to live with Aunt Shaw and Edith’s growing family once again. By the end of the book, Margaret realizes her love for Thornton and uses her fortune (inherited from Mr. Bell) to help him pursue experimental business ventures at Marlborough Mills.

Margaret Hale Quotes in North and South

The North and South quotes below are all either spoken by Margaret Hale or refer to Margaret 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 1 Quotes

“Oh, [Helstone is] only a hamlet…There is the church and a few houses near it on the green—cottages, rather—with roses growing all over them.”

“And flowering all the year round, especially at Christmas—make your picture complete,” said he.

“No,” replied Margaret, somewhat annoyed, “I am not making a picture. I am trying to describe Helstone as it really is. You should not have said that.”

“I am penitent,” he answered. “Only it really sounded like a village in a tale rather than in real life.”

“And so it is,” replied Margaret, eagerly. “…Helstone is like a village in a poem—in one of Tennyson’s poems.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Henry Lennox (speaker)
Related Symbols: Nature and the Countryside
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Gormans,” said Margaret. “Are those the Gormans who made their fortunes in trade at Southampton? Oh! I’m glad we don’t visit them. I don’t like shoppy people. I think we are far better off knowing only cottagers and labourers, and people without pretence…I’m sure you don’t want me to admire butchers and bakers, and candlestick-makers, do you, mamma?”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Mrs. Maria Hale
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

“Doubts, papa! Doubts as to religion?” asked Margaret, more shocked than ever.

“No! not doubts as to religion; not the slightest injury to that…You could not understand it all, if I told you—my anxiety, for years past, to know whether I had any right to hold my living—my efforts to quench my smoldering doubts by the authority of the Church. Oh! Margaret, how I love the holy Church from which I am to be shut out!” He could not go on for a moment or two. Margaret could not tell what to say; it seemed to her as terribly mysterious as if her father were about to turn Mahometan.

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Mr. Richard Hale (speaker)
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“It is one of the great beauties of our system, that a working-man may raise himself into the power and position of a master by his own exertions and behavior; that, in fact, every one who rules himself to decency and sobriety of conduct, and attention to his duties, comes over to our ranks; it may not be always as a master, but as an overlooker, a cashier, a book-keeper, a clerk, one on the side of authority and order.”

“You consider all who are unsuccessful in raising themselves in the world, from whatever cause, as your enemies, then, if I understand you rightly,” said Margaret in a clear, cold voice.

“As their own enemies, certainly,” said he…

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), John Thornton (speaker)
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

“…[P]oor old wench,—I’m loth to vex thee, I am; but a man mun speak out for the truth, and when I see the world going all wrong at this time o’ day, bothering itself wi’ things it knows nought about, and leaving undone all the things that lie in disorder close at its hand—why, I say, leave a’ this talk about religion alone, and set to work on what yo’ see and know. That’s my creed. It’s simple, and not far to fetch, nor hard to work.”

Related Characters: Nicholas Higgins (speaker), Margaret Hale, Bessy Higgins
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
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 15 Quotes

“If you live in Milton, you must learn to have a brave heart, Miss Hale.”

“I would do my best,” said Margaret rather pale. “I do not know whether I am brave or not till I am tried; but I am afraid I should be a coward.”

“South country people are often frightened by what our Darkshire men and women call only living and struggling. But when you’ve been ten years among a people who are always owing their betters a grudge, and only waiting for an opportunity to pay it off, you’ll know whether you are a coward or not; take my word for it.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Mrs. Thornton (speaker)
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

“Given a strong feeling of independence in every Darkshire man, have I any right to obtrude my views, of the manner in which he shall act, upon another…merely because he has labor to sell, and I capital to buy?”

“Not in the least,” said Margaret, determined just to say this one thing; “not in the least because of your labor and capital positions, whatever they are, but because you are a man, dealing with a set of men over whom you have, whether you reject the use of it or not, immense power; just because your lives and your welfare are so constantly and intimately interwoven. God has made us so that we must be mutually dependent. We may ignore our own dependence, or refuse to acknowledge that others depend upon us in more respects than the payment of weekly wages; but the thing must be, nevertheless.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), John Thornton (speaker)
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

“Mr. Thornton,” said Margaret, shaking all over with her passion, “go down and face them like a man. Save these poor strangers, whom you have decoyed here. Speak to your workmen as if they were human beings. Speak to them kindly. Don’t let the soldiers come in and cut down poor creatures who are driven mad. I see one there who is. If you have any courage or noble quality in you, go out and speak to them, man to man.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), John Thornton, John Boucher
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

If she thought her sex would be a protection,—if, with shrinking eyes she had turned away from the terrible anger of these men, in any hope that ere she looked again they would have paused and reflected, and slunk away, and vanished, she was wrong. Their reckless passion had carried them too far to stop—at least had carried some of them too far; for it is always the savage lads, with their love of cruel excitement, who head the riot—reckless to what bloodshed it may lead…

“For God’s sake! Do not damage your cause by this violence. You do not know what you are doing.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), John Thornton
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

“As I was a-saying, sir, I reckon yo’d not ha’ much belief in yo’ if yo’ lived here,—if you’d been bred here. I ax your pardon if I use wrong words; but what I mean by belief just now, is a-thinking on sayings and maxims and promises made by folk yo’ never saw, about the things and the life yo’ never saw, nor no one else…There’s many and many a one wiser, and scores better learned than I am around me,—folk who’ve had time to think on these things,—while my time has had to be gi’en up to getting my bread.”

Related Characters: Nicholas Higgins (speaker), Margaret Hale, Mr. Richard Hale
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 29 Quotes

“But, Margaret, don’t get to use these horrid Milton words. ‘Slack of work:’ it is a provincialism. What will your aunt Shaw say, if she hears you use it on her return?”

“Oh, mamma! Don’t try and make a bugbear out of aunt Shaw,” said Margaret, laughing. “Edith picked up all sorts of military slang from Captain Lennox, and aunt Shaw never took any notice of it.”

“But yours is factory slang.”

“And if I live in a factory town, I must speak factory language when I want it.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Mrs. Maria Hale (speaker), Edith Shaw, Captain Lennox, Aunt Shaw
Page Number: 233
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:
Chapter 39 Quotes

“Oh, how unhappy this last year has been! I have passed out of childhood into old age. I have had no youth—no womanhood; the hopes of womanhood have closed for me—for I shall never marry; and I anticipate cares and sorrows just as if I were an old woman, and with the same fearful spirit. I am weary of this continual call upon me for strength.”

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker)
Page Number: 315
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 41 Quotes

When her father had driven off on his way to the railroad, Margaret felt how great and long had been the pressure on her time and her spirits. It was astonishing, almost stunning, to feel herself so much at liberty; no one depending on her for cheering care, if not for positive happiness; no invalid to plan and think for; she might be idle, and silent, and forgetful,—and what seemed worth more than all the other privileges—she might be unhappy if she liked.

Related Characters: Margaret Hale, Mr. Richard Hale
Page Number: 336
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 44 Quotes

Then her thoughts went back to Milton, with a strange sense of the contrast between the life there, and here. She was getting surfeited of the eventless ease in which no struggle or endeavor was required. She was afraid lest she should even become sleepily deadened into forgetfulness of anything beyond the life which was lapping her round with luxury. There might be toilers and moilers there in London, but she never saw them; the very servants lived in an underground world of their own, of which she knew neither the hopes nor the fears…There was a strange unfinished vacuum in Margaret’s heart and mode of life.

Related Characters: Margaret Hale
Page Number: 364
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 46 Quotes

“After all it is right,” said she, hearing the voices of children at play while she was dressing. “If the world stood still, it would retrograde and become corrupt, if that is not Irish. Looking out of myself, and my own painful sense of change, the progress all around me is right and necessary. I must not think so much of how circumstances affect me myself, but how they affect others, if I wish to have a right judgment, or a hopeful trustful heart.” And with a smile ready in her eyes to quiver down to her lips, she went into the parlour and greeted Mr. Bell.

Related Characters: Margaret Hale (speaker), Mr. Bell
Page Number: 390
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 51 Quotes

“I have arrived at the conviction that no mere institutions, however wise…can attach class to class as they should be attached, unless the working out of such institutions bring the individuals of the different classes into actual personal contact. Such intercourse is the very breath of life…I would take an idea, the working out of which would necessitate personal intercourse; it might not go well at first, but at every hitch interest would be felt by an increasing number of men, and at last its success in working come to be desired by all, as all had borne a part in the formation of the plan; and even then I am sure that it would lose its vitality, cease to be living, as soon as it was no longer carried on by that sort of common interest which invariably makes people find means and ways of seeing each other, and becoming acquainted with each other’s characters and persons…We should understand each other better, and I’ll venture to say we should like each other more.”

Related Characters: John Thornton (speaker), Margaret Hale, Mr. Colthurst
Page Number: 421
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 52 Quotes

“They are from Helstone, are they not? I know the deep indentations round the leaves. Oh! Have you been there? When were you there?”

“I wanted to see the place where Margaret grew to what she is, even at the worst time of all, when I had no hope of ever calling her mine. I went there on my return from Havre.”

“You must give them to me,” she said, trying to take them out of his hand with gentle violence.

“Very well. Only you must pay me for them!”

Related Characters: John Thornton (speaker), Margaret Hale
Related Symbols: Nature and the Countryside
Page Number: 425
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire North and South LitChart as a printable PDF.
North and South PDF

Margaret Hale Character Timeline in North and South

The timeline below shows where the character Margaret Hale appears in North and South. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret Hale is with her cousin, Edith Shaw, in the drawing-room of their home in Harley... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
While Edith naps, Margaret thinks about her upcoming move and listens to her Aunt Shaw, who is entertaining several... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Aunt Shaw uses Margaret as a model to show off the exotic shawls, as Margaret stands “quite silent and... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Margaret mentions that she looks forward to a rest from wedding activity, Henry remarks that lately... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Henry asks Margaret to describe the village of Helstone in greater detail, and then teases her about the... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Henry is dissatisfied with Margaret’s struggle to put Helstone into words and suggests that he might pay her a visit... (full context)
Chapter 2
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
After Edith’s wedding, Margaret accompanies her father home on the train to Helstone from London. Fresh from goodbyes, Margaret’s... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret assumes that her father’s sadness is due to her brother, Frederick. She wishes that Frederick... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
It is late July when Margaret returns to Helstone, and she enjoys getting reacquainted with the beautiful surroundings. In fact, her... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Mrs. Hale, though kind to Margaret, seems discontented with her lot in Helstone, complaining that the bishop ought to have given... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...day in the fall, when Mrs. Hale complains that there are no cultivated neighbors nearby, Margaret says she is glad that they don’t visit the Gormans, a family who have made... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret finds the evenings at Helstone hard to occupy, since Mr. Hale withdraws into his library,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
One October morning, Henry Lennox arrives at Helstone parsonage. Margaret greets him happily, excited to hear news of Edith. While waiting alone in the drawing-room,... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Henry and Margaret set out merrily. They stop to sketch some old cottages. When Margaret goes to speak... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Henry compliments Margaret’s drawing, he thinks to himself that “a regular London girl would understand the implied meaning... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...adjourns to the garden to pick pears for dessert. Henry walks through the garden with Margaret, complimenting Helstone’s perfections. He warmly tells Margaret that he will never again speak of Helstone... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Taking her hand, Henry tells Margaret that he had wished to find her missing London a little more, because he loves... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...to recover from this mortification— “a struggling barrister to think of matrimony!” Despite her pain, Margaret feels contempt at this speech. (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...When he leaves to catch the train, however, his true personality reappears, and he urges Margaret not to despise him. (full context)
Chapter 4
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
After Henry leaves, Margaret sits upstairs thinking over the day, but must rally herself to deal with her mother’s... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
When Margaret asks why, Mr. Hale fidgets for another moment, then finally says, “Because I must no... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...questions, but after tonight, they must never speak of his agonizing doubts again. Shocked again, Margaret asks, “Doubts, papa! Doubts as to religion?” “No! not doubts as to religion,” he replies,... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...though he dearly loves the Church from which he is about to be shut out. Margaret finds his words “as terribly mysterious as if her father were about to turn Mahometan.” (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Margaret weeps, as “the one staid foundation of her home, of her idea of her beloved... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Mr. Hale asks Margaret if she will mind breaking the news to Mrs. Hale. Margaret “[shrinks] from it more... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Margaret wonders scornfully what need manufacturers have of classic literature or gentlemanly pursuits. Mr. Hale says... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret agrees that the contrast between Helstone and Milton will be a relief, though she has... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
They agree that leaving within a fortnight will be best, and that Margaret must tell Mrs. Hale by the following evening. Though resigned, Margaret can’t help another passionate... (full context)
Chapter 5
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
That night, Margaret sits in her bedroom, reflecting on the day and filled with sorrow that “seemed to... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Just then, Mr. Hale steps into Margaret’s room and asks her to pray with him, so they kneel by the window-seat and... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
While Margaret knows that her father would have delayed telling Mrs. Hale the news until the last... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...dismissive of Mr. Hale’s religious doubts and hurt by his failure to consult her. However, Margaret manages to distract her with talk of Milton, and they discuss the “factory-people” among whom... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...returns home with a timid look “almost pitiful to see in a man’s face,” and Margaret leaves Mrs. Hale weeping on his chest. She retreats to her room and finally lets... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...use, and Mr. Hale is too depressed to deal with the practical questions of moving. Margaret finds that the weight of decision-making has been thrown onto her. She reflects on the... (full context)
Chapter 6
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
On the last day in Helstone, Margaret is “calm and collected,” knowing that if she indulges her feelings of heartache, no one... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...shops, and even acquaintances; Mrs. Hale even spots Henry Lennox passing by in the street. Margaret thinks of him as “a relic of Helstone.” The family spends a friendless night in... (full context)
Chapter 7
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
The next day they arrive in the small seaside town of Heston. Margaret reflects that, even in this small Northern town, “everything looked more ‘purposelike,’” the colors are... (full context)
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
One day Mr. Hale and Margaret set out for Milton so that they can search for a house, and so that... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret and Mr. Hale visit a series of houses, finding that their money doesn’t stretch as... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
After Mr. Hale drops Margaret off at the hotel for lunch and goes to speak to the landlord, Margaret discovers... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Margaret tells Thornton about the house they are renting, he knows the place. Now having seen... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
After Thornton and Margaret make halting attempts at conversation, Mr. Hale returns, and Thornton revises his opinion of the... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Margaret further describes Thornton as a “tradesman,” Mr. Hale corrects her, saying that the Milton manufacturers... (full context)
Chapter 8
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...all other life seemed shut out from them by as thick a fog of circumstance.” Margaret reads a letter from Edith, whose new life at Corfu seems “all out-of-doors, pleasure-seeking and... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...many lessons engaged in conversation. Mr. Hale finds Thornton rather grand in his success, but Margaret wonders who may have been trampled on in the pursuit of that success. (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret undertakes a lengthy search for a servant to assist Dixon and finds it a very... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
In the course of her search for a servant, Margaret frequently finds herself in the streets of Crampton just as crowds of men and women... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
One day, a bedraggled middle-aged workman compliments Margaret’s smile. She takes an interest in this particular man, especially when she later sees him... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret learns that the two are named Nicholas and Bessy Higgins. She is surprised when they... (full context)
Chapter 9
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...invited Mr. Thornton to tea for that night. Based on her earlier interaction with him, Margaret wryly describes Thornton as someone “who would enjoy battling with every adverse thing he could... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...have tea with an “old parson” and warns her son not to be ensnared by Margaret, “a penniless girl.” Thornton laughs at this idea, considering that when last he saw Margaret,... (full context)
Chapter 10
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...“all these graceful cares were habitual to the family; and especially of a piece with Margaret.” Thornton finds himself distracted by Margaret’s beauty as she pours the tea and jokes with... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret, too, observes Thornton, and notices the difference in both appearance and character between him and... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
At these words, Margaret is roused to an angry defense of the South. Even if there is less invention... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...exertions; in fact, everyone who lives with decency and sobriety comes over to “our ranks.” Margaret replies coldly, “You consider all who are unsuccessful in raising themselves in the world, from... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
When Thornton leaves, he approaches Margaret to shake hands. She is not prepared for this and bows instead. Too late, she... (full context)
Chapter 11
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
After Thornton leaves, Margaret remarks that she liked Thornton’s account of being a shop-boy better than anything else he... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret says it is a pity that “such a nature should be tainted by his position... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret goes to bed worrying about Mrs. Hale, whose health appears to be suffering from the... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
One day, when she has been out interviewing servants, Margaret runs into Bessy Higgins in the street. Bessy’s health is not much better, and she... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
When they arrive at the Higginses’ house, Bessy is exhausted and feverish, asking Margaret, “Do you think such a life as this is worth caring for?” Margaret urges her... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
At this moment, Nicholas Higgins enters. Higgins tells Margaret he doesn’t want Bessy preached to— “she’s bad enough as it is, with her dreams... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
When Margaret asks Higgins if he doesn’t agree with her about God, he replies, “I believe what... (full context)
Chapter 12
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...Thornton has asked her to, Mrs. Thornton is reluctant to call on Mrs. Hale and Margaret. She makes a big deal about whether the visit is important enough to warrant the... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
During the visit, Margaret must rack her brain to sustain a conversation with Fanny, who was very young during... (full context)
Chapter 13
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
As soon as the Thorntons leave, Margaret hurries to the Higgins’ house to visit Bessy. Bessy asks to hear about Margaret’s childhood... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...experiencing both hard work and, since she got sick, fitful idleness. She also confesses to Margaret that she sometimes fears in the night that there’s no God, that she’s been born... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
When Margaret asks her more about her life, Bessy explains that she has been sick since about... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
From that day forward, Mrs. Hale increasingly becomes an invalid herself. As Margaret thinks back to Edith’s wedding a year ago, she thinks that she would have shrunk... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...however, appears to be willfully blind to Mrs. Hale’s condition, and is even irritated when Margaret expresses anxiety. Nevertheless, he says sadly, “I wish one could do right without sacrificing others.”... (full context)
Chapter 14
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
As her illness advances, Mrs. Hale begins to confide in Margaret more and more. One evening, she begins talking about Frederick—the taboo subject Margaret has yearned... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret brings the “yellow, sea-stained letters.” As Mrs. Hale looks through them, Mrs. Hale tells Margaret... (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... (full context)
Chapter 15
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
The next day Mr. Hale and Margaret walk to the Thorntons’ to return Mrs. Thornton’s call. When they arrive at Marlborough Mills,... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Mrs. Thornton comes in, Margaret gives a halting account of Mrs. Hale’s illness, not wanting to distress Mr. Hale. From... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
When Margaret suggests that a variety of interests helps to avoid rigidity of mind, Mrs. Thornton says... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Mr. Hale and Margaret are aware that they had never heard of Mr. Thornton until Mr. Bell had mentioned... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...since he lives “a lazy life in a drowsy college.” But she expresses appreciation for Margaret’s frankness, since many young women would have shrunk from giving an impression of flattery by... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Mrs. Thornton mentions that a strike has been threatened in Milton. Margaret asks what the people are going to strike for, and Mrs. Thornton snorts that they... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret asks whether this environment of struggle does not make Milton very rough. Mrs. Thornton says... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...the strike, and Mr. Thornton immediately “assumed a likeness to his mother’s worst expression,” repelling Margaret. He says that the “fools” may strike if they want to, but “because [the manufacturers]... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret mentions that she finds Milton “strange.” When Thornton asks why, she explains that she has... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...“children” are becoming adolescents, for whom friendship and advice are more appropriate than absolute rule. Margaret tells a story about a man who kept his child hidden away for decades, in... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...right to press his views on independent Darkshire men merely because he is their employer. Margaret agrees with this, but says that as a human being, who happens to wield immense... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Thornton asks whether Margaret is ever conscious of being influenced by others, and whether that influence occurs directly or... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret, laughing, points out that when she sees “men violent and obstinate in pursuit of their... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret remarks coldly, “I am trying to reconcile your admiration of despotism with your respect for... (full context)
Chapter 16
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
The next day, Dr. Donaldson, the doctor Mrs. Thornton has recommended, pays a visit. Margaret is excluded from Mrs. Hale’s room while he is there. After the doctor finishes his... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret sheds just a few tears before gathering herself and questioning Dr. Donaldson about Mrs. Hale’s... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
After Dr. Donaldson leaves, Margaret laments and prays in private for a few moments, wondering how she will bear to... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
After Margaret leaves, Dixon says to herself, “Bless her!...There are three people I love; it’s missus, Master... (full context)
Chapter 17
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret is slightly cheered when she takes a walk and decides to visit Bessy Higgins. Nicholas... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret questions Higgins further about the strike as he puffs on his pipe. Finally, he says... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Bessy says that she’d prefer to live in the South. Margaret points out that there are sorrows to be borne everywhere. She also thinks that Southerners... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret wants to understand the reason for the strike. Higgins explains that five or six masters... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Bessy says that Margaret has always lived in pleasant, green places and never known want or care, Margaret warns... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Bessy asks Margaret’s pardon, explaining that she has often imagined herself to be one of those doomed to... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Margaret rejects Bessy’s interpretation, since she believes that God doesn’t willingly afflict people. She adds that... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret offers to come back and read Bessy some of her favorite Bible chapters. She thanks... (full context)
Chapter 18
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
When Margaret gets home, Mr. Hale asks about Dr. Donaldson’s visit, and Margaret downplays the gravity of... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...simple for trade,” Mrs. Hale “a bit of a fine lady, with her invalidism,” and Margaret a puzzle, since she “seems to have a great notion of giving herself airs,” despite... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
After pacing awhile, Thornton abruptly tells Mrs. Thornton that he wishes she would like Margaret. Surprised, she asks whether he has had some thought of marrying her, at which he... (full context)
Chapter 19
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...Mrs. Hale has a young girl’s enthusiasm for the upcoming dinner party, fretting about what Margaret will wear. Margaret obligingly models all her dresses for her mother. Later, she visits Bessy,... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
When Margaret describes the white silk dress she will wear to the party, Bessy reveals that she... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
They talk about the strike, and Margaret feels guilty about going to a fancy dinner when so many workers’ families are now... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret tells Bessy she is feverish. It won’t be riches or lack thereof that divide people... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...could have a captive audience of mill-owners and give them a piece of his mind. Margaret hastily leaves. (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...Hale often talks with Mr. Thornton about the underlying economic principles of the strike. When Margaret listens to these conversations, she is repelled by Thornton’s cool logic—her “whole soul rose up... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret is both grateful for Thornton’s compassion for her dying mother and resentful of his knowledge... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
From Bessy and Higgins, Margaret hears another perspective altogether. Higgins is a committee-man for the strike, and Margaret hears him... (full context)
Chapter 20
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
After Margaret comes home with news of the Bouchers’ plight, Mrs. Hale sends them a basket, and... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Mr. Hale and Margaret go to the Thorntons’ dinner party. Margaret is struck by the excessive ornament, “a weariness... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Mr. Thornton comes in, he is struck anew by Margaret’s dignified beauty. During the dinner, Margaret, too, is struck by Thornton’s assured manner, confident in... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
As the men talk, Margaret can’t help admiring the Milton men’s “exultation in the sense of power…a kind of fine... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
After dinner, Thornton approaches Margaret. They begin to discuss the question of what constitutes a “gentleman.” Thornton thinks that there... (full context)
Chapter 21
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret and Mr. Hale talk about Thornton as they walk home. Mr. Hale thinks that Thornton... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret replies that Thornton is the first manufacturer that she’s had the opportunity to know, so... (full context)
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Margaret and Mr. Hale get home, they are met by an anxious Dixon. Dr. Donaldson is... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
They sit up that night watching over Mrs. Hale, Margaret thinking how dreamlike the events of recent days now seem, and wishing she could get... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret begins the long, hot walk to the Thorntons’ lost in thought, but soon she notices... (full context)
Chapter 22
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
In the Thorntons’ drawing-room, Margaret sits alone for a while until Fanny comes in. Fanny explains that Thornton has imported... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...in, he has a look of defiance on his face that makes him seem noble. Margaret has always dreaded finding herself a coward, but in this time of “reasonable fear and... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...crowds knock the gate down, Fanny faints, and Mrs. Thornton carries her from the room. Margaret, however, won’t leave Thornton’s side. Out the window, Margaret sees Boucher fighting his way to... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Thornton reassures Margaret that the soldiers will arrive soon “to bring [the crowd] to reason…the only reason that... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Thornton’s face clouds over as he listens to her, and he agrees. Margaret bolts the door behind him as he goes, then resumes her lookout at the window.... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret warns the crowd that the soldiers are on their way and begs them to go... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
A thrown clog misses them, but then a sharp pebble grazes Margaret’s face, and she passes out. The sight of blood startles the crowd out of its... (full context)
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
As the crowd vanishes, Margaret briefly comes to, but swoons again. Thornton carries her into the house. He confesses his... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
While Mrs. Thornton goes for a doctor, one of the serving-maids bathes Margaret’s forehead and tells Fanny, who has crept out of hiding, about the confrontation outside. Fanny... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
By the time the doctor comes, Margaret has fully returned to her senses, but is still faint. Nevertheless, she is anxious to... (full context)
Chapter 23
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...meal and a priest to help pacify the Irish workers. He is shocked to find Margaret gone. He tells Mrs. Thornton that he doesn’t know where he would be if not... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Mrs. Thornton successfully dissuades Thornton from going to see Margaret that night. Later that night, however, Thornton asks her, “You know what I have got... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Mrs. Thornton says that Margaret obviously does care for Thornton, and admits that she likes Margaret better for having finally... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Margaret gets home, she tells her parents nothing of what’s just happened. There is a note... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Thornton sends the water-bed for Mrs. Hale, as well as a message specifically asking how Margaret is doing. Margaret reports that she’s doing perfectly well. After bidding Mr. Hale goodnight, Margaret... (full context)
Chapter 24
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
The next morning, Margaret resolves not to think about the Thornton family, planning to visit Bessy instead. Soon, however,... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret stands before Thornton like someone “falsely accused of a crime that she loathed and despised.”... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Unable to keep the tenderness from his voice, Thornton tells Margaret that he chooses to believe he owes her his life—“to the one whom I love,... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Blushing with indignation, Margaret reiterates that her behavior yesterday was in no way “a personal act between you and... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Thornton scorns her “misplaced sympathies,” now believing that her “innate sense of oppression” motivated Margaret’s noble act. He says that Margaret despises him because she doesn’t understand him. Despite the... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret can’t help comparing Thornton’s proposal to that of Henry Lennox the year before. The biggest... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret decides to visit Bessy. When she arrives, Bessy is clearly feeling much worse, so Margaret... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
After reading to Bessy for a while, Margaret returns home and finds her mother singing the praises of the Thorntons’ water-bed. The conversation... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Mr. Hale overtakes Margaret as she is walking home from the post office. When Margaret tells him what she’s... (full context)
Chapter 26
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Mr. Thornton stumbles away from the Hales’ house overwhelmed with heartbreak, feeling as though Margaret had become “a sturdy fish-wife” and had dealt him “a sound blow.” Yet beneath his... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...through the fields, reflecting on what a fool he’s been and how little he understands Margaret. Over the course of the afternoon, he gains little besides “a more vivid conviction that... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...room all day, bracing herself for news of her son’s engagement. When she thinks of Margaret, she reflects that had Margaret been a Milton native, Mrs. Thornton might actually have liked... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...her what’s happened. But Thornton can’t bear to hear her speak of her hatred for Margaret, and they agree to never discuss the subject again. (full context)
Chapter 27
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...business. However, he has to constantly fight to keep his mind from drifting back to Margaret. In the street he bumps into and chats with Dr. Donaldson, who informs him that... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...warmly presents the fruit basket to a delighted Mrs. Hale, but quickly leaves without acknowledging Margaret. As the Hales sample the fruit and praise Thornton’s kindness, Mr. Hale remembers the currant... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Later, Dixon comes in and tells Margaret that Mary Higgins has come with the news that Bessy died that morning. Mary wants... (full context)
Chapter 28
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Margaret sees the restful smile on the deceased Bessy’s face, she is glad to have come... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Though Higgins looks as though he will strike her, Margaret doesn’t stir an inch. They remain in a long standoff, until Higgins, grumbling, relents; Margaret... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
When Margaret and Higgins arrive at the Hales’, Margaret runs ahead to warn her father about the... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
When Margaret checks on the two men a short time later, she finds that Mr. Hale’s courteousness... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...no reason, I’ll cling to that.” In a muttered aside, an emotional Mr. Hale tells Margaret that Higgins is no “infidel.” (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Mr. Hale and Margaret change the subject to the strike. As they listen to Higgins, they gather that the... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...to discuss such things, so that they might better understand one another’s point of view. Margaret doubts that Thornton could be persuaded. Hearing Thornton’s name, Higgins complains that Thornton ought to... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Higgins explains to Margaret that the union shuns and ostracizes any worker who won’t join it. Margaret is shocked... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
As the conversation ends, Higgins quietly promises Margaret that he will go straight home and not to the gin-shop. Mr. Hale invites Higgins... (full context)
Chapter 29
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
The next morning, as Margaret and Mrs. Hale chat, Mrs. Hale is displeased by the Milton “provincialisms”—“factory slang”—that pepper Margaret’s... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Mr. Thornton enters as she says this, and Margaret feels embarrassed that she may have offended him. She is aware of Thornton’s careful avoidance... (full context)
Chapter 30
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...the woman’s poorly appearance. Feebly, Mrs. Hale asks Mrs. Thornton to be a friend to Margaret in the event of Mrs. Hale’s own death. Haltingly, Mrs. Thornton promises to be of... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret and Dixon, meanwhile, discuss the possibility that Frederick might soon arrive and plan how to... (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... (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 like these,... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
In the wake of Mrs. Hale’s death, Margaret quickly rouses herself to be “a strong angel of comfort to her father and brother.”... (full context)
Chapter 31
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
As Margaret helps Dixon in the aftermath of Mrs. Hale’s death, she has no time to cry—while... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Margaret briefly gives in to weeping, Dixon, not unkindly, tries to brace her up by pointing... (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... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...idly mentions getting a glimpse of Thornton at the door and thinking him “a shopman,” Margaret feels annoyed and wants to correct him, but finds herself tongue-tied. (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 has a good position and... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret wonders whether Frederick could clear his name in the event of a court-martial. Frederick explains... (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... (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... (full context)
Chapter 33
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
When Margaret gets home, she argues with Mr. Hale about attending Mrs. Hale’s funeral. She wants to... (full context)
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... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
After the funeral, Mr. Thornton approaches Dixon to ask how Mr. Hale and Margaret are doing. He is disappointed to hear that Margaret is bearing up well, since he’d... (full context)
Chapter 34
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret is, in fact, under great strain. She grieves and waits in agony for further word... (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,... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...death may have some connection with the Hale household. He asks for Thornton’s advice, since Margaret seems to have been mixed up in a case of mistaken identity. Mr. Thornton instructs... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Thornton goes home and agonizes over the events—has Margaret behaved improperly or not? What kind of shameful secret might she be hiding? Finally, he... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...is not conclusively attributed to the fall alone. Accordingly, the inspector returns to a miserable Margaret and informs her that there will be no further inquiry, thanks to Thornton. (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret’s relief is clouded by the realization that Thornton had seen her at the train station... (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... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Margaret bears the burden of the entire incident herself. Because Mr. Hale is no longer a... (full context)
Chapter 36
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
The next day, Margaret and Mr. Hale go to visit Higgins, who is still out of work. Higgins explains... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Just then, Margaret, Mr. Hale, and Higgins hear a steady tramping sound and look outside to see six... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
...asks Higgins to break the news to Mrs. Boucher, but he refuses to face her. Margaret asks Mr. Hale to go, but he is trembling and can’t think what to say.... (full context)
Chapter 37
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret and Mr. Hale return the next day to check on the Bouchers. Margaret befriends and... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
As they return home, Margaret tries to encourage her father, saying that town life tends to depress people’s spirits. Mr.... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret’s thoughts return to Thornton and her disgrace in his eyes. She feels strangely disappointed when... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret interjects that Higgins would be miserable in the agricultural South—the labor would be too much... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret asks Higgins if he would consider asking Thornton for work. Higgins says it would “tax... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret says that if only Higgins would speak to Thornton as he does to them, and... (full context)
Chapter 38
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
What Margaret doesn’t know is that Thornton’s change of opinion about her is not just due to... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Mrs. Thornton has heard about Margaret’s presence at the train station scuffle. She believes that Margaret has led Thornton on by... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Mrs. Thornton feels more bitter than ever towards Margaret. She even feels “a savage pleasure” at the idea of speaking to her “in the... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
When Mrs. Thornton arrives at the Hales’, Margaret has just finished relating Mrs. Hale’s last days in a letter to Edith and is... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Instead, Mrs. Thornton speaks of the “indiscretion” of walking after dark with a young man. Margaret immediately turns combative. She says that Mrs. Hale didn’t mean for her to be exposed... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Higgins keeps his promise to Margaret, waiting for hours to speak to Thornton. Thornton’s business is running behind because of disruptions... (full context)
Chapter 39
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
As Margaret goes over her conversation with Mrs. Thornton, she is distressed all over again to realize... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Later Margaret visits Higgins and finds him playing with some of the Boucher children; he describes his... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Thornton is equally uncomfortable at unexpectedly seeing Margaret. He has come to Higgins because he believes he behaved unjustly toward Higgins the day... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Thornton follows Margaret when he sees her coming out of the Bouchers’ house. He tells her about his... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Back at home, Margaret receives a letter from Edith mentioning that the Lennoxes might move back to Harley Street.... (full context)
Chapter 40
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Mr. Bell comes to Milton for a visit, and Margaret easily renews a warm and teasing friendship with her godfather—when Margaret teases him about his... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
...to the Hales’ and conducting business with his landlord, Bell, because he’s reluctant to see Margaret. Finally, however, Thornton and Bell join the Hales, where Mr. Hale renews that morning’s discussion... (full context)
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Later that evening, when Bell comments on Thornton’s irritability and lack of humor, Margaret comes to his defense, saying Thornton wasn’t himself. Later, Bell asks Mr. Hale if Margaret... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...meanwhile, seldom visits the Hales anymore, to Mr. Hale’s regret. One evening he abruptly asks Margaret if she has ever thought that Thornton cared for her. Margaret admits the truth, but... (full context)
Chapter 41
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
The winter continues drearily; Margaret’s “mind had lost its elasticity,” and she finds no heartfelt joy in anything but caring... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Mr. Bell invites both Mr. Hale and Margaret for a visit to Oxford. Mr. Hale, whose health has faltered from stress and too... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret feels most keenly the lie she told, especially in light of the dashing of her... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Margaret visits Higgins next, who reports that his new master, Thornton, is “good enough to fight... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
That night, Margaret is strangely preoccupied with thoughts of her father. Mr. Hale is thinking of Margaret as... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Before going to bed that night, Mr. Hale commends Margaret to Mr. Bell’s care, and Bell promises all possible help to his beloved goddaughter. That... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
...shock at the news of Mr. Hale’s death and wonders, trembling, what will become of Margaret. Mr. Bell assumes that the Lennoxes, especially Henry, will take an interest in Margaret. Thornton... (full context)
Chapter 42
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret falls into a state of physical exhaustion from the shock of Mr. Hale’s death. Dixon... (full context)
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Aunt Shaw journeys to “that horrid place,” Milton, to retrieve Margaret. Margaret finally finds the relief of tears on her aunt’s shoulder. Thornton inquires at the... (full context)
Chapter 43
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Aunt Shaw is appalled by Milton and prevails upon a heartsick Margaret to return home with her as soon as possible. Mr. Bell, back in Oxford, sends... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret first bids Mary Higgins a tearful goodbye, taking with her a drinking-cup to remind her... (full context)
Chapter 44
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
At Harley Street, where “the machinery of daily life [was] well oiled,” Margaret has leisure to reflect on the sudden changes in her life. Aunt Shaw and Edith... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Mr. Bell and Henry Lennox pay a visit to Margaret, and they chat about Henry’s attempt to find supporting witnesses for the case to clear... (full context)
Chapter 45
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
...of visiting newlywed Mr. Hale and Mrs. 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... (full context)
Chapter 46
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
As Mr. Bell and Margaret journey toward Helstone the next day, Margaret finds that “every mile was redolent of associations,”... (full context)
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
As Mr. Bell and Margaret settle at the inn in Helstone, the landlady chats with Margaret about the Hepworths, the... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret and Mr. Bell begin their exploration of Helstone, and Margaret grieves over cottages that have... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret goes to visit Susan, a young girl she had been especially close to, and talks... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Religious Diversity and Conscience Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
After a melancholy visit to the village school, Margaret reluctantly accepts an invitation to the parsonage, though she dreads seeing the “improvements” that have... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
By that evening, Margaret is too tired for the forest rambles she’d planned, and finds that the visit hasn’t... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
As 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... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
As Margaret sits up late that night, she is “overpowered” by “a sense of change, of individual... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
The next morning, however, Margaret wakes with a refreshed outlook, as “looking out of myself, and my own painful sense... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Margaret realizes that she constantly changes, too, and that after her irritability at finding things different... (full context)
Chapter 47
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
Dixon returns from Milton and takes her place in the Shaws’ household as Margaret’s maid. Margaret enjoys having someone with whom to discuss Milton people and events. In the... (full context)
Chapter 48
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret continues to wearily endure the Lennoxes’ superficial dinner-parties. She continues to hope for news that... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...at coming into indirect contact with someone who might soon be dead. She finally remembers Margaret and finds her cousin packing for the train to Oxford. Aunt Shaw becomes hysterical at... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret is thankful to have made the journey to Oxford, though she learns on arrival that... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
That night, as Margaret sits in her childhood nursery, she remembers her childhood promise “to live as brave and... (full context)
Chapter 49
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret soon learns that she has inherited about 40,000 pounds from Mr. Bell. Henry Lennox becomes... (full context)
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... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Henry Lennox becomes determined to woo Margaret once again. He admires her mind and character and assumes he could win her over... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
After returning from the seaside, Margaret “[takes] her life into her own hands” and begins to act independently of Aunt Shaw’s... (full context)
Chapter 50
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
One day Higgins asks Thornton whether he’s heard anything of Margaret recently and notices how Thornton’s face lights up at the mention of her. Then, with... (full context)
Chapter 51
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
One summer evening at Harley Street, Edith, looking for Margaret, complains to Dixon that “I’m always expecting to hear of her having met with something... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Personal Character, Environment, and Change Theme Icon
When Margaret comes in, Edith informs her that Henry has invited Thornton to dinner. Margaret tries to... (full context)
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...strikes not the bitter, venomous sources of hatred they have hitherto been.” Thornton suddenly approaches Margaret and tells her that he’s received a round-robin letter stating the wish of some of... (full context)
Chapter 52
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Henry and Margaret are enclosed in a private meeting for much of the next day. When he finds... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
The next day Thornton comes, though without Lennox. Margaret hurries in late, flustered. She tells Thornton she is sorry to be losing him as... (full context)
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Margaret hides her face as Thornton repeats her name. Finally, the third time, she hides her... (full context)
Nostalgia and Identity Theme Icon
Female Agency and Strength Theme Icon
Class Antagonism Theme Icon
...something to show her, and withdraws some dried roses from his pocket-book. After a moment, Margaret recognizes them as Helstone roses and asks when he was there. “I wanted to see... (full context)