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Transcript of Ruth's England
Mrs. Bellingham's Personality
Gender Role: Mrs. Bradshaw
Status: Dies(?) in Paris (260)
The Harpy and The Mouse
The wives and mothers of 18th Century England
Mrs. Bradshaw's Personality
dont need no man
"[Mr. Bradshaw's] wife [is] sweet and gentle-looking, but as if she [is] thoroughly broken into submission" (126)
"Mrs. Bradshaw was, he confessed...
rather less firm then he should have
liked with the girls" (172)
It is clear that Mrs. Bradshaw is very passive and likes to coddle her children. She does not know how to give her children some tough love and instead lets them act however they want.
"The state on which his mother
lived was her own; and her income gave her the means of indulging or controlling him, after he had grown to man's estate, as her wayward disposition and her love of power prompted her" (27)
Unlike Mrs. Bradshaw who gives her kids (freedom?), Mrs. Bellingham manipulates and controls her own son. She forces her son to marry Ms. Dumcombe, even if he does not like her. She also manipulates his son into leaving Ruth.
"When he was there, a sort of constant terror of displeasing him made her voice sharp and nervous" (189)
Mrs. Bradshaw seems to be scared of her husband. She does whatever he wants and she tells her husband everything. It seems like Mr. Bradshaw simply tolerates her and he is constantly belittling her. His behavior could be one of the main reasons that make her so passive, and it is obvious her fear of him affects her personality.
"If she has no friends, and is the creature you describe (which is confirmed by my own observation), the best place for her is, as I said before, the Penitentiary" (88)
Despite their many differences in terms of their personalities and the way they treat and are treated by people, they are both doting mothers who treasure their children greatly. They are both willing to spend all their money and time for their children which
that in spite of their high class standing, in their hearts their children are still way above everything else.
Mrs. Bradshaw is a good wife, and takes the acquiescent role of females in a patriarchal society.
Mrs. Bellingham seems like a very cold person, who does not treat people well. She calls Ruth a creature and says she should be sent to a prison, despite the fact that Ruth is sick. She does not seem to have any sympathy for Ruth and just throws her money at her in order to get rid of her.
She talks "in the quiet tone in which she generally [speaks] in her husband's absence" (188).
"...she was so much afraid of the blame which on any occasion of their misbehaviour fell upon her. And yet she looked up to her husband with a reverence and regard, and a faithfulness of love, which his decision of character was likely to produce on a weak and anxious mind. He was a rest and a support to her, on whom she cast all her responsibilities; she was an obedient, unremonstrating wife to him; no stronger affection had ever brought her duty into conflict with any desire of her heart. She loved her children dearly, though they all perplexed her very frequently." (188-189)
"[Mrs. Bradshaw's] son [is] her especial darling, because he very seldom brought her into any scrapes with his father; ... With all her dutiful sense of the obligation, which her husband enforced upon her, to notice and tell him everything that was going wrong in the household, and especially among his children, Mrs. Bradshaw, somehow, contrived to be honestly blind to a good deal that was not praiseworthy in Master Richard." (189)
Mrs. Bradshaw saw that something was wrong, but could not tell what; only she became every moment more trembling, and nervous, and irritable, and sent Mary and Elizabeth off on all sorts of contradictory errands to the servants, and made the tea twice as strong, and sweetened it twice as much as--usual, in hopes of pacifying her husband with good things (189?)
"...[Mrs. Bellingham's] passionate love for [Mr. Bellingham] would have induced her to strip all her possessions to add to his dignity of happiness." (28)
"...said Mrs. Bellingham, with the sort of dignified authority which retained a certain power over her son---a power which originated in childhood..." (73)
"She was a lady of a great deal of religion, and a very old family, and was much shocked at her son's misfortune in being captivated by such a person; but she led him to repentance" (260)
Mrs. Bellingham takes up the role and the power of her husband, and has the authority and power that women in her society does not have. For many women their job was to simply cook and clean for their family, but Mrs. Bellingham made her own money. She can be quite ruthless, especially when it comes to her son. She uses the powers she has over him to get him to do what she wants and is very manipulative. This is unusual for the time because women in the Victorian era were typically more soft spoken and kind, like Mrs. Bradshaw. Since her husband died Mrs. Bellingham had to take over the role as the overpowering father figure and because of that it effected her gender role.
She treats her as lowly being, and the seducer. It is unknown whether her rather low status has a hand in her view of Ruth but her bias towards her only beloved son surely influences how she sees Ruth. "It was too much to hear this wretched girl thanking God for her sons life; as if, she had any lot or part in hm, and to dare to speak to the Almighty on her son's behalf! Mrs. Bellingham looked at her with cold, contemptuous eyes, whose glances were like ice-bolts, and made Ruth shiver up away from them" (70)
Mrs. Bradshaw is a very subdued person and does not seem to be very confident without her husband. She is very doting to her children however, and equally so, if not more, to her husband. This fits her right in to the model wife cutout during the Victorian Era.
What others think of her:
"I don't know much more. His mother followed him into Wales. She was a lady of a great deal of religion, and a very old family, and was much shocked at her son's misfortune in being captivated by such a person; but she led him to repentance, and took him to Paris, where, I think, she died; but I am not sure, for, owing to family differences, I have not been on terms for some years with my sister-in-law, who was my informant."
"Who died?" interrupted Jemima--"the young man's mother, or--or Ruth Hilton?"
"Oh dear, ma'am! pray don't confuse the two. It was the mother, Mrs. ---- I forget the name--something like Billington. It was the lady who died." (260)
How she treats Ruth:
Mrs. Bellingham hates Ruth upon first sight and shows no compassion what so ever for her. She blames her sons illness on Ruth and is outraged at Ruth for loving him. Mrs. Bellingham’s attitude toward Ruth shows how little she thinks of those who are beneath her and how she does not even bother to look for the good in Ruth.
How others see her:
"[Her] lack-a-daisical, sweet-tempered way, second[s] her husband in his desire of being kind to Ruth" (154)
"[She] wishe[s] she had a daughter as lovely, about whom to weave a romance; for castle-building, after the manner of the Minerva Press, was the outlet by which she escaped from the pressure of her prosaic life, as Mr. Bradshaw's wife" (154)
How she treats Ruth:
"The estate on which his mother lived on was her own; and her income gave her the means of indulging and controlling him" (27)
The examples reveal her inner and true personality, that of which is uncomfortable of the oppression of the patriarch, Mr. Bradshaw but since she respects the gender role appointed to her, she continues with her subordination, letting her soft nature shine through.
Social Status: upper class
Social class: Upper class
There is no evidence of her class affecting her worldview negatively for she does not exactly interact with commoners, which is probably an evidence itself, proving how she isolates herself with her respective social circle.
Comparing and Contrasting
Mrs. Bellingham seem to look down upon those she believes are beneath her. She is rude to Ruth and is constantly barking orders at her servants.
I fixed the analysis' so if anyone logs on to fix them I already did:)
thnks dude ;x -c