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Elizabeth Gaskell Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Mary Barton

Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Mary Barton” is a novel of social reform that explores injustice, abuse and inequality. The novel is especially concerned with the societal condition of England at the time. In her “Preface” Mrs. Gaskell asserted, “I know nothing of Political Economy, or the theories of the trade. I have tried to write truthfully”. The “truth” of “Mary Barton” is not political or economic but the truth of the human heart. The novel is not about industrial conditions but about people living in those conditions. Mrs. Gaskell’s social aim in writing is to inform rather than to reform. Her aim in writing is to give “utterance to the agony” and to explicate the consequences of “the seeming injustice of the…