Task 3B: Reactions to environments

Here, we will approach Task 3B. You are asked to read two extracts from “Thirty-nine Steps” by John Buchan and from “Mary Barton” by Elizabeth Gaskell. Then, you are asked to discuss what you learn about the two characters Richard Hannay and Mary Barton from their reaction to their environments. In the end, you should -include a brief argumentation regarding which book would you most likely want to continue reading.

In what follows, we will present the two extracts and help you identify the most important elements connected to Richard Hannay and Mary Barton’s reaction to their environments.

Extract 1: from “Thirty-nine Steps” by John Buchan

Extract 1 presents Richard Hannay’s attitude towards the “Old Country” (l. 2). Raised in Scotland until the age of six and clearly used to the good life, Hannay feels extremely bored with life in London. He has spent a few years in Bulawayo, a city in Zimbabwe, and he finds no pleasure in life in the city. He is bored by the attractions, by lifeless meetings and saddened by the fact that he has no real friends.

Extract 2: from “Mary Barton” by Elizabeth Gaskell

Extract 2 presents Mary Barton’s depiction of the rural life near Manchester. She describes the “Green Heys Fields” (ll. 1-2), in which life seems to be much simpler than life in the city. She sees farmhouses and places where one could enjoy the beautiful sounds of life in the countryside.

In the next section, we will offer you some points that can be of help in a discussion about Richard Hannay and Mary Barton’s reaction t...

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