The Essay of Doom
Although the initial impression is that both female characters are full of concern and fear for their relatives life, it is noticeable upon closer reading that Margarets mother in North and South is more concerned about herself and how the events described will affect her own life. The repetitive use of the prefix “I” in almost every sentence of this characters dialogue demonstrates her selfish nature, and is made clear as we read her dialogue: “I could not sleep”, “I am thankful to waken”, “I dream of him” and so on, the egotistical nature of this character is therefore clear. Furthermore, we can see daughters mental wellbeing, and once again reinforce the egotistical nature of this character.
Contrastingly, in Flauberts A Simple Heart, we are able to see that the protagonist seems a much more caring individual, more concerned with her nephews wellbeing than her own. We see that Félicité “thought solely of her nephew” from the moment she found out he would be travelling so far and that Both passages contain slightly humorous notes and it could be suggested that both Gaskell and Flaubert use this in order to enhance the melodramatic nature of their female protagonists. In North and South, we see that Margarets mother imagines her son “in some stormy sea”, with “waves curling over [the ship] with that cruel, terrible white foam, like some gigantic crested serpent”, and similarly, Félicité imagines her nephew “perched on top of a shattered mast” or “dying on some lonely coast”. Despite these horrible imaginings, we are told at the end of the passage that “she never mentioned her anxieties, however”. This final sentence only serves to