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Does anybody else feel like North and South is really long and slow? Sometimes I have to really push myself to keep going. I like Mr. Thornton, but I find Margaret so annoying. Even her own father gets irritated when she talks too much! I started watching the BBC series and I love how intense Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) is with everybody, but Margaret still bothers me because she’s always giving her opinion on things she has no knowledge or experience with at all.
1. Have your feelings changed towards Mr. Thornton during this section of the book?
No, I still think he’s a good guy and it still drives me crazy he feels like he has to prove something to Margaret. Even when she has rejected him, he’s still thinking, “If only she understood me!” I wish he would just stop it.
2. Have your feelings towards Margaret changed?
No, she still gets up on her high horse and drives me crazy. At least she stopped ranting, so I’m rolling my eyes less.
3. What do you think about the riot and how Margaret and Mr. Thornton reacted?
It really bothers me that she guilt-tripped Mr. Thornton into facing his men even if it was a good thing for him to try communicating with them. I thought it was an idiotic decision by her to run down and protect Mr. Thornton, but I guess this was meant to be romantic gesture.
4. Do you think Boucher’s anger and actions were justified?
I can only imagine how terrible it is to be out of work and have a starving family to feed, but he chose to react with anger and violence which doesn’t solve the problem.
5. Did Bess’s or Mrs. Hale’s deaths effect you in any way?
It was pretty clear that both women were not going to make it, so I was prepared for their deaths. I felt sad for Margaret’s family and Mr. Higgins’ family.
6. Were you surprised to learn that it wasn’t common for women to attend funerals? What are your feelings on that tidbit?
My impression from the book was that women didn’t attend funerals because they can’t control their emotions. Unfortunately, this seems like the typical perception of women as a weaker sex during this time period. Of course, the whole thing is ridiculous.
7. Now that we’ve met Frederick, do you like him? Are you sympathetic to his predicament?
Frederick seems like a very nice brother and son. However, he didn’t seem very homesick or as if he had given any thought at all to clearing his name until Margaret suggested it. If his mother hadn’t been on her death bed, he may have been quite content never to have seen his family again. I don’t think I trust him.
8. What are your feelings on Mr. Thornton’s proposal?
Awful timing! Terrible decision! What was he thinking? He was doomed to be rejected. But didn’t Taylor Swift say, “Boys only want love if it’s torture.”
9. If you were in Mr. Thornton’s place, having seen the person you love with a stranger late at night, then finding out that person was questioned by the police and lied, would you do the same thing Mr. Thornton did? Would you protect that person even though you think they have done questionable things?
No, I wouldn’t lie to protect someone just because I had feelings for them. I would realize there are things about that person I don’t know about and for that reason I should be cautious and not get too involved.
10. Do you think Margaret’s feelings towards Mr. Thornton have changed? Why?
I think Margaret is beginning to soften her prejudices, but she’s still too stubborn to admit he’s not that awful.
I don’t love North and South, but I still can’t wait to see how it ends.