So yeah. I'm WAY behind on getting this post up. We had an awesome twitter chat on Saturday and I really should have had this post up then. Alas.... :/ But! I have it now! Better late than never, right? (I hope? ;)
Anyhoo. As I said, we had an awesome twitter chat and I admit that I was reading through chapter 18 clear up until the very last possible minute. (Clearly I'm a procrastinator.) And gracious did that hour fly by fast! I was clicking tweets all over the place and having a wonderful time. Thanks to Jenni for hosting! And for these great questions. Also! If you've a mind to, start reading the book and join us next time. I promise all the ladies are fabulous and nice and you're guaranteed a great time. So come on over to Victorian England, it's the place to be this month! ;)
Is this your first time reading this? If so, what do you think so far? If not, are you liking this reread so far?
Not really. I've not ever properly read the entire story word for word, but I have skimmed through and read quite a lot of it. So I was due to read the whole thing. And yes! I am enjoying it so far. It helps my enthusiasm, I think, to know that there are others reading at the same time and that we'll get to chat about it again soon. :)
Have you seen the BBC mini-series? Is the book anything like you expected it to be?
Okay, anybody who regularly reads my posts knows the answer to this one! ;) The miniseries is by far my favorite show/movie/whatever you want to call it. I have watched it so many times that I cannot possibly count them all. And since I've skimmed through the book before, I knew about what to expect. But it has been fun to see the differences and where they changed scenes from the book for the miniseries.
Why do you think Margaret refused Henry? He seems like such a nice chap.
He does seem like a nice chap! But I don't think he inspired any passion or "depth of feeling" in her. It's pretty clear from her thoughts that every time she was in conversation with Henry, she never once thought romantic thoughts about him. Even though he was pretty obvious a couple times. I think she's young enough and not experienced enough yet that she simply didn't recognize what was actually happening in those conversations? Especially the one at Edith's wedding.
What are your first impressions of Mr. Thornton?
He's very gentlemanly and nice. Right from the beginning, no matter how Margaret frustrated him with her attitude, he still did all he could to make the Hale's transition to Crampton as easy and comforting as possible. Alyssa mentioned the fact that he got the wallpaper changed for them, which he didn't have to do at all. He notices so many little details about Margaret (which I love!) and that one small comment she said about the wallpaper stayed with him and he did something about it. Plus he clearly cares very much for his mother. They're relationship is so solid and warm. And he's so respectful to everyone. He treats everyone fairly.
Why is Margaret so indifferent to Mr. Thornton, but she can make friends with the Higgins? They are both northern people and have different customs.
I think he's just so different than she's expecting. The men she's had contact with up to this point have been ones who understood their position and the right things to say and the right things to do. Not that Mr. Thornton doesn't! But he's just a little more rough around the edges. And she expects Higgins to be that way from first meeting, so he makes sense to her, therefore she's more comfortable around him. But Thornton is a different story. Plus I wonder if she's not already feeling a slight attraction and doesn't really understand it or know what to do with it, so it comes out antagonistically. If that makes sense?
Compare the two moms we’ve seen in the story.
Well, so far Mrs. Hale is very frustrating to me. While I can sympathize with her sickness, whatever it may be, I don't like that she's not really a mother to Margaret. I don't think she's a bad person, I just think she's allowed her sadness and regret to turn into bitterness and it's kind of all I can see whenever she's in the scene.
Mrs. Thornton on the other hand, absolutely dotes on her son. I do enjoy watching the two of them together, they have a wonderful relationship. But she's far from perfect. Her love for her son and her pride at all that he's raised them to has blinded her to being able to truly see him objectively. And she could certainly learn to have a little more gentleness with other people. Plus (and this gets more clear the further in the story we go) I think she's so enamored of her son that she's kind of neglected her daughter slightly.
What differences are you seeing so far between the north and the south?
The south is much more relaxed and even-keeled and the north is fast-paced and constantly moving. Basically the country vs. the city. The city has lots more people in a small space, so it's much more obvious in being able to see the differences between the rich and the poor.
Do you think Mr. Hale was justified in leaving the church and his position?
Yes, because he clearly was unable to live with his present circumstances. He chose to stick to his standards, even though he knew it would be difficult.
What are your feelings on Frederick’s situation?
It's very sad. He can never see his family again or they him. And they all miss him so very much! I can't imagine having to go through that.
What are your thoughts on the master and worker relationship?
It's intriguing! It's one of the aspects that I really enjoy about this story. And I love that we are privy to both sides, so I tend to sympathize with both. Neither side makes all the right choices though and I wish they had a better understanding of one another. (Communication, people! ;) Watching the push and pull between them is fascinating, they all need each other really. The mills couldn't operate without workers and the workers need somewhere to make money so they can live. Finding a balance isn't easy. It also resonates because these are things that we still deal with today. Humans haven't changed much over the years!