Ulterior Motive

Ulterior Motive - Ulterior Motive Elizabeth Gaskells*Cranford is a realistic fiction that focuses on the lives of unmarried women in a made up town

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Ulterior Motive Elizabeth Gaskell’s *Cranford* is a realistic fiction that focuses on the lives of unmarried women in a made up town called Cranford. Their lives constitute genteel and “elegant economy” (3) ideals. Elegant economy is the idea that though the women are from modest backgrounds, they avoid directly discussing their lack of wealth by characterizing being economical as elegant. To prevent disruption from their practice of elegant economy, when Miss Matty loses her fortune, the women of Cranford attempt to gather as much money as they can to help Miss Matty’s financial downfall. Though the Cranford women’s gathering to help Miss Matty appears to be out of concern for her, the women’s exaggerated reaction undermines this appearance and suggests that the Cranford women have an ulterior motive. After being informed of Miss Matty’s Misfortune, Miss Pole quickly requested to have a meeting with the other women. As Miss Smith enters the room, “Miss Pole herself was in solemn array…Mrs Forrester was there, crying quietly and sadly…” (136). Their reaction to the situation appears to be rehearsed, or too dramatic for the news they were given. Though it is understandable that the women may be hurting for Miss Matty, it does not make sense to be so affected that they would be torn enough to cry. Their exaggerated reaction must be the result of their feeling insecure. Cranford is a society in which elegant economy is well practiced. If their model citizen, Miss Matty, loses
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This note was uploaded on 08/15/2011 for the course ENGLISH 10 taught by Professor Bristow during the Summer '11 term at UCLA.

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Ulterior Motive - Ulterior Motive Elizabeth Gaskells*Cranford is a realistic fiction that focuses on the lives of unmarried women in a made up town

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