Title: “The Half Hour Library of Travel, Nature and Science for young readers” Place of Publishing: LondonDate of Publishing: 1896Publisher: James Nisbet & Co.
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The image is an illustration of an unnamed star from a book featuring depictions of the natural world. 
Bessy is the the ultimate model of who England’s industrial revolution left behind: the sick, the weary, and the jaded. Because suffering has been such a constant reality of her life, she has become resigned to the belief that it is simply a result of God’s plan for her. After attempt by Margaret to reignite Bessy’s spirits, she replies:

Sometimes, when I’ve thought o’ my life, and the little pleasure I’ve had in it, I’ve believed that, maybe, I was one of those doomed to die by the falling of a star from heaven; “And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and the men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.,.” One can bear pain and sorrow better if one thinks it has been prophesied long before for one: somehow, then it seems as if my pain was needed for fulfillment; otherways it seems all sent for nothing.

Wormwood is footnoted as “a burning star that falls from Heaven signalling disaster” (435). Bessy’s mention of apocalyptic imagery is indicative of her belief that her life lead in Milton is that of either Hell or something closely similar to it. She functions as a voice for Gaskell’s disapproval of the Northern conditions by exemplifying just how terrible and despairing life there can be. 

Title: “The Half Hour Library of Travel, Nature and Science for young readers”
Place of Publishing: London
Date of Publishing: 1896
Publisher: James Nisbet & Co.

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The image is an illustration of an unnamed star from a book featuring depictions of the natural world. 

Bessy is the the ultimate model of who England’s industrial revolution left behind: the sick, the weary, and the jaded. Because suffering has been such a constant reality of her life, she has become resigned to the belief that it is simply a result of God’s plan for her. After attempt by Margaret to reignite Bessy’s spirits, she replies:

Sometimes, when I’ve thought o’ my life, and the little pleasure I’ve had in it, I’ve believed that, maybe, I was one of those doomed to die by the falling of a star from heaven; “And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and the men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.,.” One can bear pain and sorrow better if one thinks it has been prophesied long before for one: somehow, then it seems as if my pain was needed for fulfillment; otherways it seems all sent for nothing.

Wormwood is footnoted as “a burning star that falls from Heaven signalling disaster” (435). Bessy’s mention of apocalyptic imagery is indicative of her belief that her life lead in Milton is that of either Hell or something closely similar to it. She functions as a voice for Gaskell’s disapproval of the Northern conditions by exemplifying just how terrible and despairing life there can be. 

Title: “Light in Darkness, or Sermons in Stones. Churchyard thoughts in verse, etc”Author: SNOW, Joseph. Place of Publishing: LondonDate of Publishing: 1845
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The photo is a religious illustration of a weeping angel.
Margaret’s relationship with many characters within the novel is similar to that of a guardian angel. In Helstone, she was the gentle philanthropist, providing food, care, and temporary bouts of joy to the resident poor. In Milton, she is a beacon of life in the midst of a polluted and hopeless city. To Bessy, Margaret is salvation embodied, a vision she had thought of before ever having met her. In a discussion with Margaret describing her prophetic dreams, Bessy says:

Ay, but I did [see you]. Yo’r very face, - looking wi’ yo’r clear steadfast eyes out o’ th’ darkness, wi’ yo’r hair blown off from yo’r brow, and going out like rays round yo’r forehead, which was just as smooth as straight as it is now, — and yo’ always came to give me strength, which I seemed to gather out o’ yo’r deep comforting eyes, — and yo’ were drest in shining raiment — (148)

Both in life and dreams, she is a symbol of hope for Bessy. While her relatively upper-class status prevents Margaret from truly understanding the depth of pain poverty brings, her charitable heart allows her to sympathize and devote time into easing its sorrows. Margaret is an example of the weeping angel who is pained by the level and amount of suffering she sees and her inability to completely cure all of it. Her sensitive temperament causes her to agonize with the people around her she desperately wants to help, such as Bessy, the mill-workers, and her sick mother.

Title: “Light in Darkness, or Sermons in Stones. Churchyard thoughts in verse, etc”
Author: SNOW, Joseph.
Place of Publishing: London
Date of Publishing: 1845

The photo is a religious illustration of a weeping angel.

Margaret’s relationship with many characters within the novel is similar to that of a guardian angel. In Helstone, she was the gentle philanthropist, providing food, care, and temporary bouts of joy to the resident poor. In Milton, she is a beacon of life in the midst of a polluted and hopeless city. To Bessy, Margaret is salvation embodied, a vision she had thought of before ever having met her. In a discussion with Margaret describing her prophetic dreams, Bessy says:

Ay, but I did [see you]. Yo’r very face, - looking wi’ yo’r clear steadfast eyes out o’ th’ darkness, wi’ yo’r hair blown off from yo’r brow, and going out like rays round yo’r forehead, which was just as smooth as straight as it is now, — and yo’ always came to give me strength, which I seemed to gather out o’ yo’r deep comforting eyes, — and yo’ were drest in shining raiment — (148)

Both in life and dreams, she is a symbol of hope for Bessy. While her relatively upper-class status prevents Margaret from truly understanding the depth of pain poverty brings, her charitable heart allows her to sympathize and devote time into easing its sorrows. Margaret is an example of the weeping angel who is pained by the level and amount of suffering she sees and her inability to completely cure all of it. Her sensitive temperament causes her to agonize with the people around her she desperately wants to help, such as Bessy, the mill-workers, and her sick mother.

Title: “Bye-Ways of Manchester Life … With illustrations, etc. [Reprinted from the “Manchester City News.”]”Author: TOMLINSON, Walter - of Manchester Place of Publishing: ManchesterDate of Publishing: 1887
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The image is an illustration of a Manchester mother and daughter in their home. They appear to be impoverished, with state of the home, furniture, and their clothing serving as obvious indicators.
The example shown is a more accurate depiction of what a majority of the Milton population’s lives were like. The pair is not just simply working class, but severely impoverished. The child is curled beneath a blanket that is more akin to a rag with old, decrepit walls surrounding her. The pair appear to be dirty and unwell. They are an example of the disturbing reality Margaret is alerted to through her meetings with the poor of Milton, particularly that of Bessy Higgins. In one of her first revelatory talks with Margaret, Bessy laments, 

I used to think once that if I could have a day of doing nothing, to rest me — a day in some quiet place like that yo’ speak on — it would maybe set me up. But now I’ve had many days of idleness, and I’m just as weary o’ them as I was o’ my work. Sometimes I’m so tired out I think I cannot enjoy heaven without a piece of rest first. I’m rather afeard o’ going straight there without getting a good sleep in the grave to set me up. (101) 

Bessy is both so sick and overworked that she feels the only true ‘rest’ that could heal her is death, which even then would require preparatory action. She is an example of one of many who suffer both mentally and physically as a result of the cruelty of industrialism. 

Title: “Bye-Ways of Manchester Life … With illustrations, etc. [Reprinted from the “Manchester City News.”]”
Author: TOMLINSON, Walter - of Manchester
Place of Publishing: Manchester
Date of Publishing: 1887

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The image is an illustration of a Manchester mother and daughter in their home. They appear to be impoverished, with state of the home, furniture, and their clothing serving as obvious indicators.

The example shown is a more accurate depiction of what a majority of the Milton population’s lives were like. The pair is not just simply working class, but severely impoverished. The child is curled beneath a blanket that is more akin to a rag with old, decrepit walls surrounding her. The pair appear to be dirty and unwell. They are an example of the disturbing reality Margaret is alerted to through her meetings with the poor of Milton, particularly that of Bessy Higgins. In one of her first revelatory talks with Margaret, Bessy laments, 

I used to think once that if I could have a day of doing nothing, to rest me — a day in some quiet place like that yo’ speak on — it would maybe set me up. But now I’ve had many days of idleness, and I’m just as weary o’ them as I was o’ my work. Sometimes I’m so tired out I think I cannot enjoy heaven without a piece of rest first. I’m rather afeard o’ going straight there without getting a good sleep in the grave to set me up. (101) 

Bessy is both so sick and overworked that she feels the only true ‘rest’ that could heal her is death, which even then would require preparatory action. She is an example of one of many who suffer both mentally and physically as a result of the cruelty of industrialism. 

Title: “Royal Visits and Progresses to Wales, and the border counties of Cheshire, Salop, Hereford, and Monmouth, from the first invasion of Julius Cæsar, to the friendly visit of Her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria … Illustrated with an approved portrait of Her Majesty, and a profusion of pictorial and historical engravings”Author: PARRY, Edward - of Chester Place of Publishing: ChesterDate of Publishing: 1850
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The image is an illustration of a busy city street in Wrexford. The included ‘approved portrait of Her Majesty’ in the title implies that the depiction has been somewhat embellished. The illustrator was likely instructed to feature only the most desirable aspects of the city, excluding those more gruesome, like dirt, pollution, and poverty.
While Margaret is not necessarily a young woman of nobility, she is highly familiar with what a town or city of wealth looks like. Milton is prosperous, but its wealth is hidden and found only in the ornate interior decoration of homes like that of Mrs. Thornton. The exterior is unabashedly foul and unclean. The novel describes the Hales’ arrival in heavily unsavory detail:

For several miles before they reached Milton, they saw a deep lead-coloured cloud hanging over the horizon in the direction which it lay. It was all the darker from contrast with the pale gray-blue of the wintry sky; for in Heston there had been the earliest signs of frost. Nearer to the town, the air had a faint taste and smell of smoke; perhaps, after all, more a loss of the fragrance of grass and herbage than any positive taste or smell. Quick they were whirled over long, straight, hopeless streets of regular-built houses, all small and of brick (60)

While the image above provides a glossed over version of city life in the industrial revolution, Gaskell presents what is negative but a reality. 

Title: “Royal Visits and Progresses to Wales, and the border counties of Cheshire, Salop, Hereford, and Monmouth, from the first invasion of Julius Cæsar, to the friendly visit of Her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria … Illustrated with an approved portrait of Her Majesty, and a profusion of pictorial and historical engravings”
Author: PARRY, Edward - of Chester
Place of Publishing: Chester
Date of Publishing: 1850

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The image is an illustration of a busy city street in Wrexford. The included ‘approved portrait of Her Majesty’ in the title implies that the depiction has been somewhat embellished. The illustrator was likely instructed to feature only the most desirable aspects of the city, excluding those more gruesome, like dirt, pollution, and poverty.

While Margaret is not necessarily a young woman of nobility, she is highly familiar with what a town or city of wealth looks like. Milton is prosperous, but its wealth is hidden and found only in the ornate interior decoration of homes like that of Mrs. Thornton. The exterior is unabashedly foul and unclean. The novel describes the Hales’ arrival in heavily unsavory detail:

For several miles before they reached Milton, they saw a deep lead-coloured cloud hanging over the horizon in the direction which it lay. It was all the darker from contrast with the pale gray-blue of the wintry sky; for in Heston there had been the earliest signs of frost. Nearer to the town, the air had a faint taste and smell of smoke; perhaps, after all, more a loss of the fragrance of grass and herbage than any positive taste or smell. Quick they were whirled over long, straight, hopeless streets of regular-built houses, all small and of brick (60)

While the image above provides a glossed over version of city life in the industrial revolution, Gaskell presents what is negative but a reality. 

Title: Thomas CarlyleArtist: George Frederick Watts Date of Publishing: 1868
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The image is a painting of Thomas Carlyle, a notable mind of the Victorian era who criticized at the length the effects of Industrialism on British society. Carlyle appreciated the ideals of feudalism and the concept of the wealthy and ruling classes serving as caregivers and guardians of the poor. In his essay Past and Present he warns of the dehumanizing consequences of Capitalism, asserting that it causes society to value capital over humankind. He provides a solution that is somewhere between Feudalism and Capitalism, where ‘captains of industry’ volunteer as social guides who lead their nation with the ultimate goal of its prosperity, not wealth. 
Carlyle’s conceptualization of the ideal society for England echoes that which the Hales experienced in Helston and what Margaret slowly begins to fight for through the progression of the novel. In an argument with Mr. Thorton, she states, 

God has made us so that we must be mutually dependent. We may ignore our own dependence or refuse to acknowledge that others depend upon us in more respects than the payment of weekly wages; but the thing must be, nevertheless. Neither you nor your master can help yourselves. The most proudly independent man depends on those around them for their insensible influence on his character — his life. And the most isolated of all your Darkshire Egos has dependents clinging to him on all sides; he cannot shake them off, any more than the great rock he resembles can shake off — (122). 

Margaret repeats one of Carlyle’s most seminal sentiments: that dependence is inescapable, no matter the depth of human efforts to avoid it. Her mention of this dependence being a result of God’s will is deliberate and creates yet another parallel of Milton and its practices to hell. Because Milton willfully abandons the divine path it is to follow, it lives in sin. The industrial city that prospers from exploitation is both a literal and figurative symbol of a crude deviation from the natural.   

Title: Thomas Carlyle
Artist: George Frederick Watts 
Date of Publishing: 1868

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The image is a painting of Thomas Carlyle, a notable mind of the Victorian era who criticized at the length the effects of Industrialism on British society. Carlyle appreciated the ideals of feudalism and the concept of the wealthy and ruling classes serving as caregivers and guardians of the poor. In his essay Past and Present he warns of the dehumanizing consequences of Capitalism, asserting that it causes society to value capital over humankind. He provides a solution that is somewhere between Feudalism and Capitalism, where ‘captains of industry’ volunteer as social guides who lead their nation with the ultimate goal of its prosperity, not wealth. 

Carlyle’s conceptualization of the ideal society for England echoes that which the Hales experienced in Helston and what Margaret slowly begins to fight for through the progression of the novel. In an argument with Mr. Thorton, she states,

God has made us so that we must be mutually dependent. We may ignore our own dependence or refuse to acknowledge that others depend upon us in more respects than the payment of weekly wages; but the thing must be, nevertheless. Neither you nor your master can help yourselves. The most proudly independent man depends on those around them for their insensible influence on his character — his life. And the most isolated of all your Darkshire Egos has dependents clinging to him on all sides; he cannot shake them off, any more than the great rock he resembles can shake off — (122). 

Margaret repeats one of Carlyle’s most seminal sentiments: that dependence is inescapable, no matter the depth of human efforts to avoid it. Her mention of this dependence being a result of God’s will is deliberate and creates yet another parallel of Milton and its practices to hell. Because Milton willfully abandons the divine path it is to follow, it lives in sin. The industrial city that prospers from exploitation is both a literal and figurative symbol of a crude deviation from the natural.   

Title: “[John Halifax, Gentleman … With illustrations by H. Riviere.]”Author: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock Place of Publishing: LondonDate of Publishing: 1898
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The image is an illustration of what can be reasonably presumed to be a father and daughter. Their attire and leisurely state suggest probable wealth.
The agony in the Hale’s departure from Helstone is largely rooted in their extreme fondness for the town. Although the more nobly-bred Mrs. Hale dislikes the area, both Margaret and her father enjoy the tranquility of a place so fixed in the midst of nature. Margaret’s days in Helstone are described in a way that is almost excessively whimsical, a strategy used to develop the disparity between the atmospheres of Northern and Southern. The photo depicts what Margaret’s life had likely been like as a young girl in Helstone. Both subjects appear comfortable and at ease and are comfortably interacting with nature. As a child, Margaret would “tramp along by her father’s side […] out on the broad commons into the warm scented light, seeing multitudes of wild, free, living creatures, revelling in the sunshine, and the herbs, and flowers it called forth” (Gaskell, 18). The photo displays the same air of unity with nature and joy in simplicity the family had in Helstone. Additionally, it provides contrast to the environment they find themselves in at Milton. 

Title: “[John Halifax, Gentleman … With illustrations by H. Riviere.]”
Author: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock
Place of Publishing: London
Date of Publishing: 1898

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The image is an illustration of what can be reasonably presumed to be a father and daughter. Their attire and leisurely state suggest probable wealth.

The agony in the Hale’s departure from Helstone is largely rooted in their extreme fondness for the town. Although the more nobly-bred Mrs. Hale dislikes the area, both Margaret and her father enjoy the tranquility of a place so fixed in the midst of nature. Margaret’s days in Helstone are described in a way that is almost excessively whimsical, a strategy used to develop the disparity between the atmospheres of Northern and Southern. The photo depicts what Margaret’s life had likely been like as a young girl in Helstone. Both subjects appear comfortable and at ease and are comfortably interacting with nature. As a child, Margaret would “tramp along by her father’s side […] out on the broad commons into the warm scented light, seeing multitudes of wild, free, living creatures, revelling in the sunshine, and the herbs, and flowers it called forth” (Gaskell, 18). The photo displays the same air of unity with nature and joy in simplicity the family had in Helstone. Additionally, it provides contrast to the environment they find themselves in at Milton. 

Title: “Truth; or the Fall of Babylon the Great, being an address to the ratepayers of this kingdom, and particularly to those of Sheffield … on the greatest curse that ever was inflicted … on any nation, the Poor Law Amendment Act, etc”Author: ROBERTS, Samuel - of Sheffield, the Elder Title: “Truth; or the Fall of Babylon the Great, being an address to the ratepayers of this kingdom, and particularly to those of Sheffield … on the greatest curse that ever was inflicted … on any nation, the Poor Law Amendment Act, etc”Author: ROBERTS, Samuel - of Sheffield, the Elder Place of Publishing: SheffieldDate of Publishing: 1845
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The image is taken from a text which objected to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1835, a highly controversial decision made by Parliament. The PLAA modified the budget allotted for England’s welfare program and significantly decreased the living and working conditions of those living in poverty. The act was created after the theory that livable working and housing conditions would encourage populations to reproduce, but not prosper. Limited funding and subsequent undesirable conditions would create incentive, allowing the motivated to thrive and the idle be gradually weeded out.  The uppermost text refers to a biblical passage where Jesus encourages a group of suffering and weary slaves to maintain their faith and dignity with the promise of imminent eternal salvation. It goes on to state that the kingdom of Heaven does discriminate, and will accept all, regardless of their low status on Earth. The bottom text is an implication that God sees all and will punish those partake in grave sin in their waking lives— a warning toward those in power who refuse to provide aid to the poor.
The doctrines associated with the PLAA are paralleled by Mr. Thornton’s personal philosophy as a cotton industry giant. Having created his wealth from virtually nothing, Thorton is a living example of the quintessential self-made man. He maintains, however, a markedly cold and unsympathetic attitude toward those in the position he had once been in. Like Parliament, Thornton’s solution to poverty is to minimize government aid and leave the people to their own devices and capabilities. He refers the impoverished as “their own enemies”, suggesting that poverty is a choice, and advocates “self-denial” as a suitable tool to rise out of it (85). Thornton’s emotionally removed system of values is of stark contrast to the ‘noblesse oblige’ philosophy of South. His frequent political and often preachy tangents function as a cold reminder to the Hales not only are they far from home, but a place akin to hell. 

Title: “Truth; or the Fall of Babylon the Great, being an address to the ratepayers of this kingdom, and particularly to those of Sheffield … on the greatest curse that ever was inflicted … on any nation, the Poor Law Amendment Act, etc”
Author: ROBERTS, Samuel - of Sheffield, the Elder
Title: “Truth; or the Fall of Babylon the Great, being an address to the ratepayers of this kingdom, and particularly to those of Sheffield … on the greatest curse that ever was inflicted … on any nation, the Poor Law Amendment Act, etc”
Author: ROBERTS, Samuel - of Sheffield, the Elder
Place of Publishing: Sheffield
Date of Publishing: 1845

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The image is taken from a text which objected to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1835, a highly controversial decision made by Parliament. The PLAA modified the budget allotted for England’s welfare program and significantly decreased the living and working conditions of those living in poverty. The act was created after the theory that livable working and housing conditions would encourage populations to reproduce, but not prosper. Limited funding and subsequent undesirable conditions would create incentive, allowing the motivated to thrive and the idle be gradually weeded out. 
The uppermost text refers to a biblical passage where Jesus encourages a group of suffering and weary slaves to maintain their faith and dignity with the promise of imminent eternal salvation. It goes on to state that the kingdom of Heaven does discriminate, and will accept all, regardless of their low status on Earth. The bottom text is an implication that God sees all and will punish those partake in grave sin in their waking lives— a warning toward those in power who refuse to provide aid to the poor.

The doctrines associated with the PLAA are paralleled by Mr. Thornton’s personal philosophy as a cotton industry giant. Having created his wealth from virtually nothing, Thorton is a living example of the quintessential self-made man. He maintains, however, a markedly cold and unsympathetic attitude toward those in the position he had once been in. Like Parliament, Thornton’s solution to poverty is to minimize government aid and leave the people to their own devices and capabilities. He refers the impoverished as “their own enemies”, suggesting that poverty is a choice, and advocates “self-denial” as a suitable tool to rise out of it (85). Thornton’s emotionally removed system of values is of stark contrast to the ‘noblesse oblige’ philosophy of South. His frequent political and often preachy tangents function as a cold reminder to the Hales not only are they far from home, but a place akin to hell. 


Slepe not till ye hathe consederd how thow hast spent ye day past. If thow habe well don, thank God. If other ways, repent ye. 

Title: “[History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster … The biographical department by W. R. Whatton, Esq. (History of the cotton manufacture [by Edward Baines Jun.]) [With plates.]]”Author: BAINES, Edward - M.P. for Leeds Place of Publishing: LondonDate of Publishing: 1868
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The context of this image within the cited monograph is unknown. The text was later used in The House, The Garden, and the Steeple; A Collection of Old Mottoes by Arthur Lee Humphreys, a book of brief hymns and poetry. The poems were collected from engravings found on “old houses, sundials, and bells” and embody the “mellowness of England” and “old English country life.” The example provides cautionary advice to the typical good English citizen: ascertain that your life adheres to the moral and religious standards of God and if it is not, repent.
The above motto is an appropriate summation of the internal dilemma which leads Richard Hale to abandon the ease of his life as a Helstone clergyman. After a period of intense spiritual evaluation, Richard comes to realization of his own irreconcilable doubt and lack of faith in the church he serves. Richard’s resignation and exile to the hellish, industrial city of Milton is his form of repentance. He abides by the notion that, “when thou canst no longer continue in thy work without dishonour to God […] thy employments are sinful, and unwarranted” (Gaskell, 36). By leaving his respected position and the town he and family loved in exchange for one that is comparably worse, unfamiliar, and cruel, he is essentially willingly damning himself for his sins. 

Slepe not till ye hathe consederd how thow hast spent ye day past. If thow habe well don, thank God. If other ways, repent ye. 

Title: “[History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster … The biographical department by W. R. Whatton, Esq. (History of the cotton manufacture [by Edward Baines Jun.]) [With plates.]]”
Author: BAINES, Edward - M.P. for Leeds
Place of Publishing: London
Date of Publishing: 1868

——

The context of this image within the cited monograph is unknown. The text was later used in The House, The Garden, and the Steeple; A Collection of Old Mottoes by Arthur Lee Humphreys, a book of brief hymns and poetry. The poems were collected from engravings found on “old houses, sundials, and bells” and embody the “mellowness of England” and “old English country life.” The example provides cautionary advice to the typical good English citizen: ascertain that your life adheres to the moral and religious standards of God and if it is not, repent.

The above motto is an appropriate summation of the internal dilemma which leads Richard Hale to abandon the ease of his life as a Helstone clergyman. After a period of intense spiritual evaluation, Richard comes to realization of his own irreconcilable doubt and lack of faith in the church he serves. Richard’s resignation and exile to the hellish, industrial city of Milton is his form of repentance. He abides by the notion that, “when thou canst no longer continue in thy work without dishonour to God […] thy employments are sinful, and unwarranted” (Gaskell, 36). By leaving his respected position and the town he and family loved in exchange for one that is comparably worse, unfamiliar, and cruel, he is essentially willingly damning himself for his sins.