Books and Movies Reviews


Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and south is one of the most influential novels
of the industrial age with its clear depiction of social, economic and
political conditions prevailing in that era. We are all well aware pf the
fact that capitalism was the biggest problem in the industrial age and it
was viewed as the sole enemy of mankind since it gave rise to numerous
social and economic problems for the urban poor. Gaskell has captured all
these problems skillfully in her novel thus focusing on the major problems
of these times. However it is not just the social or economic conditions
that make this novel a success, but also the depiction of the religion and
religious controversies that set this work apart from other novels of 19th
The author has tried to maintain an objective stance on the subject of
religion but she has written clearly about doubts and various other
problems that Christianity suffered during this troubled times. As man
himself was undergoing severe social and economic problems, his religious
beliefs also suffered a setback and author has transferred these doubts
carefully yet clearly onto the pages of her novel. Many people believe that
it is Nicolas Higgins who represents the center of religious controversy
but that is not entirely true. We notice a religious motif running
throughout the novel and various religious doubts and belief surface from
time to time through different characters beginning from Margaret Hale’s
father. However it is true that it is in Higgins that religious controversy
is most pronounced. It is important to study the many different references
to religious doubt and controversy that occur in this novel to fully
comprehend the problem that had surfaced in those days. While people
suddenly began doubting religion is unclear from the novel, however it
appears that the problems of the age had created doubts in the minds of
some people who later decided …