The Half-Brothers is a short, realist, tragedy story, that illustrates the hardships that the poorer people had to undergo in the late Victorian period especially the hardships faced by widows and some of those around them. I think that the purpose of the story other than to entertain the reader is more to make people realise how difficult it is for people living in harsh conditions and to perhaps examine human relationships.
I think that the genre of the story is perfectly suited to the purpose because of it’s realism and tragedy, I think that the reader is possibly affected emotionally even if the emotion felt is a slight feeling of happiness because they are not in the scenario faced by the fictional characters portrayed by the author Elizabeth Gaskell.
Obviously the reader faced with such a tragedy would want to read all of the story and that is why I think that genre is well suited to this story. The story can be divided into six sections. The first section is the introduction, the second section is the development of the story, the third section is the climax, the fourth section is the narrator of the younger brother and the final section is the conclusion of the story.
Many events take place in the story, in the introduction the story mentions the death of the eldest brother’s farther, the story tells us that the narrators sister dies before he is born, it also tells us that the narrators’ mother did not cry at her daughters death but instead did not cry until the coming of the narrators half-brother were I quote, “When my aunt came back from the funeral, she found my mother in the same place, and in the same place, and as dry-eyed as ever.
So she continued until after Gregory was born; and, somehow, his coming seemed to loosed the tears, and she cried day and night, day and night,” in the development of the story it tells the reader about how the narrators mother’s job and how his mother had to end her job because of bad eyesight, this part of the story also tells about William Preston asking the narrators mother to marry him and her reaction to that, the narrator’s mother gets married and has a child early she then dies, with the farther blaming the narrators brother for hastening his brothers birth.
In the climax the story tells the reader about the narrator leaving home and getting lost. In the rescue the narrator gets rescued by his elder brother but his older brother dies in the process. And in the conclusion of the story, the narrator tells the reader how his brother saved him, about the respect that his brother gains from saving his life and the sadness faced by everyone because of the way they treated his eldest brother.
I think that the plot fits well into the structure because the structure and plot work up gradually to the tragic ending that concludes the story, that is why I think that the story can induce emotion into the reader because of the tragedy involved especially at the end. There are very few settings involved in this story, there is the home of the narrator’s mother at the beginning, the home of the narrator at his farther farm and the fells which the narrator describes it as, “It looked dark and gloomy enough; but everything was so still that I thought I should have plenty of time to get home before the snow came down.
” And, “The right path was clear enough in the daytime, although at several points two or three exactly similar diverged from the same place; but when there was a good light, the traveller was guided by the sight of distant objects, – a piece of rock, – a fall in the ground – which were quit invisible to me now. ” This is where the narrator gets lost. I think that the narrator choose these settings because this is were the narrator grew up and so new the most about.
I think these settings achieved the purpose of the story because the last setting illustrates the difficulty faced by the eldest brother to find the narrator at great risk. There are few main characters in this story, the narrator, his brother Gregory, his mother, his aunt fanny and his farther William Preston. The narrator describes himself as, “I suppose I was a cleaver lad; at any rate, I always got plenty of praise; and was , as we called it, the cock of the school. ” He also says how everybody thinks of his brother, “But everyone said he was stupid and dull, and this stupidity and dullness grew upon him.