Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What I Love About John

It's safe to say that I was not impressed with John the first time I met him. I thought him rather rough and uncouth. In truth, I had never had any exposure to the manufacturing classes before and I was content not to think of him at all. When I did, I thought him the type of man who puts profit before people, who worships cold, hard cash and who has little appreciation for things like compassion or charity.

Fortunately for me, I was unable to ignore John since his association with my father regularly brought us into the same company, and slowly I began to see the man behind the manufacturer. I realised that I had been horribly unfair and prejudiced against him. 

I came to see that he was not arrogant but rather, was proud of his achievements (and rightly so).

He did his best for his mill and his workers, even when he didn't know how best to help them.

I came to see that he was a man who was open to new ideas and ways of thinking, he was progressive and welcomed change.

Falling for him was a gradual process and it wasn't until he had seen me with Frederick and then caught me in a lie, that I realised just how very much I wanted him to think well of me. That's when I began to realise that my feelings for him had changed.

I had been so cruel and callous towards him for so long, especially when I rejected his proposal of marriage, that I assumed that he would no longer share my feelings and I thought that I was destined to be alone.

I sometimes wonder if Mr Bell knew more about my feelings then he let on. Did he have any idea that his gift to me would not only offer me security, but bring me to the man I loved? He was a shrewd man and he knew Thornton rather better than I did at the time, so I think it likley that he knew exactly what he was doing. I only hope that wherever he is now, he can see us and how very happy we are together.

Margaret X

Follow the chain forward to JoAnn

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  1. A marriage made in heaven! ♥

  2. I've often puzzled over when it was Margaret realised she was in love with John Thornton. Thank you for this lovely piece.

  3. I love this page, Cat. I have already written more than once: reading N&S my heart is with John, it has always been with him, even before watching the BBC series and starting figuring him with the handsome features of Richard Armitage. At the same time, I've never felt much admiration nor sympathy for Margaret, which I can't explain in detail here, it would be too long a comment.
    Now, reading your lovely piece here, I felt some sympathy for her. Well done!

    1. I sympathised with both to an extent, Margaret's independence captivated me (though at times her complete selflessness bordered on martyrdom, which irritated me) while I also identified with Thornton's struggle.

      It's Margaret who has really the learning curve in this story, for while Thornton isn't perfect, he is already doing his best for his mill, which includes being as good as he can to his workers. In the end, he just expands on his existing principles a little.

      Margaret is the one who must overcome her prejudices to the north, the manufacturing classes and of course, John.

      As such I'm not surprised that you (and probably many others) find John the more sympathetic character. If I had to choose? John would be my favourite of the two.

  4. Hi Cat!:)
    It was lovely,thank you!
    Dear Margaret! You alone are worthy to be his wife.
    With regards

  5. So glad Mags woke up and smelled the roses. No pun intended. Great post! I need to read the book again. And watch the movies. *sigh*

  6. Hmm, awfully nice of him to give up this space on his blog!

    1. Would you like to tell Margaret "no"?

      Besides, I had full copy approval. ;)


  7. Hi Cat,

    This is a lovely explication of Margaret's journey in realizing her love for John.

    These two loving souls--John and Margaret--are but two halves of the same heart. They were destined to find each other and make each other whole again--two hearts, beating as one as they share their love and life together.

    Cheers! Grati ;->

  8. I would have to agree that it is Margaret who had the biggest lessons to learn in N&S. Deep down Mr. Thornton was always a good person who tried to do the best he knew how for his workers. I wish that in the miniseries the screenwriter did not include that scene where Mr. Thornton beats up the worker. In the book Mr.Thornton never beats up anyone. In the book there are also more parts where Mr. Thornton displays his deep love and passion for Margaret that the screenwriter left out. I wish she had not done that.

    I always liked Margaret but her martyrdom attitude did irritate me at times. All in all Daniela was perfect as Margaret Hale.

    1. I'm not too bothered by the "roughing up" they did of Thornton's character, because in the book he was a little too good to be true, and so in love with Margaret that at times i felt like he had an inferiority complex at times. But the beating was borderline savage and perhaps a little too much.