North and South, ch. 20
The passage also shows a development in Mrs. Gaskell's analysis of the social situation towards a more balanced picture than that of the earlier novel of the advantages and disadvantages of the industrial and rural ways of life. In conversations with Nicholas Higgins, the factory hand, and Mr. Thornton the manufacturer, Margaret Hale is brought to realize that there are two sides to the industrial conflict as to any human problem. More important, her low opinion of the Northern character is exposed as prejudice.