Ruth (BookRags) Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 76 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ruth.
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"Not every woman who has fallen is depraved."

Mr. Benson's stating that "Not every woman who has fallen is depraved" is essentially the thesis statement of Gaskell’s novel: just because a woman has sinned once does not mean she is morally unredeemable.

Before she meets Mr. Benson, Ruth is rejected and condemned based on the public perception of her relationship with Mr. Bellingham. Each condemnation only leads Ruth toward greater sin. Mrs. Mason, the seamstress Ruth works with at the beginning of the novel, is the first person to cruelly condemn Ruth for her relationship with Mr. Bellingham. Though Ruth and Mr. Bellingham’s relationship is still chaste when Mrs. Mason fires her, Mrs. Mason assumes the worst, setting off the chain of events that leads to Ruth’s actual “fall.” It is clear that if Mrs. Mason had given Ruth another chance, she would never...

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This section contains 2,093 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ruth (BookRags) Study Guide
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