Learn Elizabeth Gaskell's Literary Devices in the Essay Sample

Published: 2018-02-03
Learn Elizabeth Gaskell's Literary Devices in the Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Analysis
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 670 words
6 min read

Ways in which Gaskell creates the experience of the mill workers

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The fictional narrative written by Elizabeth Gaskell is about the experiences of the employees working in the factory based on how they writer demonstrates their suffering and humiliation by their employer. In her fictional narrative, Gaskell is seen using various literary devices to show the experience of the mill workers.

Diction literary device

Diction is the style of writing that an author uses depending on the choice of words to pass his or her message. The selection of words is correct, accurate, appropriately suitable for the context and enables the audience to understand the message quickly. In the first paragraph, a reader can identify the use of diction as utilized by the author in creating the experience of mill workers. For example, the writer noted that employees in the mill suffered violence at the workplace. She stated, "is sure to break forth again with fresh violence at any depression of trade." When there was a low season of business, new violence at the mill would occur. Here, the language is clearly expressed, and the audience can understand easily what the writer wanted to say regarding the experiences of the mill workers.

In the second paragraph, Gaskell indicated that John Barton is a ‘poor weaver,' to reveal the poverty of the mill workers. The employer obtained wealth by exploiting the workers at the plant. The author says that the employer bought estate within the country using the wealth created by the workers. In the end, the mill workers who are the wealth makers struggle with life and cannot even afford their daily bread. The words bewildering, aggravated, vicissitudes of lowered wages are diction words used by the author to show the level of power for the mill workers. They work more for a few hours and get paid a little money. It was a high degree of exploitation that John Barton, the ‘poor weaver' is used to demonstrating the experience of the mill workers.

Imagery literary device

Secondly, imagery is used in this fictional story to generate the experiences of the mill workers. Still, in the first paragraph, Gaskell used the imagery of ashes smoldered to demonstrate the impact that the violence has on workers. ‘Ashes smolder' is an imagery to create the essence of wounds that the workers get from the violence. Here, one can see that the author was keen in how she presented the message of conflict for the readers to identify the suffering of the mill workers.

Imagery is also used in the second paragraph when Gaskell states that "simmers' and weavers cottages stand empty." The author wants the reader to relate the emptiness of the workers' houses. It shows the level of poverty that these employees are living. "The sinking health" in the second paragraph is also an imagery that Gaskell used to create the experience of the mill workers. They are suffering, and their health was deteriorating.

Contrast literary device

Contrast is also used to create the experience of the mill workers. In the second paragraph, one can see that the employer and employee (worker) are contrasted to reveal the differences in their lifestyles. The organization is rich, and the employee is suffering in poverty. Gaskell stated that the rich are in larger houses, while "spinners and weavers' cottages stand empty." The workers can't afford to live in the cottages but only in rooms, unlike the employers/wealthy who are residing in the large houses. The children of the poor were wailing asking for enough food and others are dying while the rich live in luxury. Workers are also portrayed as suffering in silence and not confronting those causing the woe. They were mocked, used to live on credit and extreme hunger.


In conclusion, the essay demonstrates three primary ways in which Gaskell used to create the experience of the mill workers in her fictional narrative. They include diction, imagery, and contrast.

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Learn Elizabeth Gaskell's Literary Devices in the Essay Sample. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/101-elizabeth-gaskells-literary-devices

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