How does Elizabeth Gaskell elicit sympathy for Helen, Gregory and even William Preston in the short story “The Half-Brothers”? Do you find this story sentimental?.
Elizabeth Gaskell was a 19-century author. She was the wife of a Unitarian minister, and had only one son, who died in infancy. She was concerned with the problems of the poor as shown in this book.
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Elizabeth Gaskell wrote “The Half-Brothers” in the 19th-century. It is a short story about a boy called Gregory, his mother Helen, and his younger half brother-the narrator. This book contains great sorrow, bravery and neglect. It takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster. Elizabeth manages to use many different writing skills and techniques. She tells quite a complex story in only thirteen pages. This shows what an accomplished writer Elizabeth is.
Helen marries twice at a young age “My mother was twice married” “I believe she was scarcely seventeen”. Immediately this makes the reader think of Helen as brave and also that even so early in her life things are going wrong for her. Helen and her first husband rented a small farm in Cumberland, where they hoped to earn some money. But they were both too young and too inexperienced to manage taking care of a farm and soon fell into debt. Then, “he fell into ill health, and died of consumption before they had been three years man and wife”. The writer does not explain how terrible Helen must feel after losing her husband, but simply expresses how hard it will now be for Helen “leaving my mother a young women of twenty, with a little child only just able to walk,”. This makes the reader feel like the trouble she is left in must be so bad that the sorrow she feels for her husband is insignificant. This lets the reader relate to how bad her situation must be. Helen is left alone only with her unsuccessful farm and a child. Helen has no one there to support her. This means she must try and survive on her own.